Dr. Anthony Fauci expressed surprise at recent polling that shows many Republicans and Trump voters have no plans on getting vaccinated, and he’s hoping the former president will do more to urge his followers to do so.
The government’s top infectious disease expert told Fox News on Sunday, “If [Trump] came out and said, ‘Go and get vaccinated. It’s really important for your health, the health of your family and the health of the country,’ it seems absolutely inevitable that the vast majority of people who are his close followers would listen to him.”
The doctor was also a guest on NBC News, and after he was told that 50 percent of Republican men and 47 percent of Trump voters say they’re not going to get vaccinated, a baffled Fauci said, “It makes absolutely no sense.”
Asked if Trump, who was vaccinated in secret while still in the White House, should do more in promoting the vaccines, Fauci said, “I hope he does because the numbers that you gave are so disturbing.”
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“How such a large proportion of a certain group of people would not want to get vaccinated merely because of political consideration. It makes absolutely no sense. What is the problem here?” Fauci asked. “This is a vaccine that is going to be lifesaving for millions of people. How some groups would not want to do it for reasons that I just don’t understand. I mean, I just can’t comprehend what the reason for that is when you have a vaccine that’s 94 to 95 percent effective and it is very safe. I just don’t get it.”
Fauci touted the former president’s vaccine initiative Operation Warp speed and popularity among his followers while saying an aggressive promotion by Trump would be a “game-changer.”
“It’s puzzling to me. I mean, clearly, Operation Warp Speed started in the Trump administration,” Fauci said. “It was very successful in getting us the vaccines we have right now. It seems like an intrinsic contradiction, the fact that you had a program that was started during his presidency and he’s not out telling people to get vaccinated. I wish he would. He has such an incredible influence over people in the Republican Party. It would really be a game-changer if he did.”
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