CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — There’s a new, outspoken, unlikely advocate for COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots.
Former President Donald Trump has repeatedly encouraged the use of vaccines, along with taking credit for their creation, in multiple interviews in recent days.
The new tone from the former president has put him at odds with some of his most fervent supporters.
On Sunday, during an event with former Fox News Channel host Bill O’Reilly, Trump told the host he had received his booster shot. A few members of the crowd then booed, but the former President tried to brush off the naysayers.
“Don’t, don’t, don’t,” Trump told the crowd.
This week, O’Reilly appeared on NewsNation to defend the former president.
“I said this is good for you. This is good that people see another side of you. Not a political side. You told the truth,” O’Reilly told host Dan Abrams. “You believe in the vax, your administration did it. And you should take credit for it.”
On Wednesday, Trump told conservative host Candace Owens that the COVID-19 vaccines are “one of the greatest achievements of mankind.”
It’s no secret that politics often play a role in whether or not someone is vaccinated. Mecklenburg County has the highest vaccination rate in the area along with the lowest percentage of Trump voters.
Vaccines, Death, and Political Views
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Meanwhile, in Cleveland County, which went for Trump two-to-one in the 2020 election, less than half the population is vaccinated. The county also has the highest death rate in the area, 0.7%, by far in the area.
Outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen said she’s optimistic that vaccine skeptics can be convinced to get a shot.
“I am never giving up,” Cohen said. “What I have been saying is every day we have new data of the safety of these vaccines. As well as the effectiveness of preventing someone from getting hospitalized or dying.”