FILE - In this Feb. 25, 2021, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens as President Joe Biden speaks during an event to commemorate the 50 millionth COVID-19 shot in Washington. Fauci said Sunday, March 14, he wishes former President Donald Trump would use his popularity among Republicans to persuade his followers to get the COVID-19 vaccine. In a round of interviews on the morning news shows, Fauci lamented polling showing that Trump supporters are more likely to refuse to get vaccinated, saying politics needs to be separated from “commonsense, no-brainer” public health measures. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

FILE - In this Feb. 25, 2021, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens as President Joe Biden speaks during an event to commemorate the 50 millionth COVID-19 shot in Washington. Fauci said Sunday, March 14, he wishes former President Donald Trump would use his popularity among Republicans to persuade his followers to get the COVID-19 vaccine. In a round of interviews on the morning news shows, Fauci lamented polling showing that Trump supporters are more likely to refuse to get vaccinated, saying politics needs to be separated from “commonsense, no-brainer” public health measures. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Trump should urge his followers to get vaccinated: Dr. Fauci

Fauci said it would be a ‘game changer’ if the former president used his “incredible influence” among Republicans.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday he wishes former President Donald Trump would use his popularity among Republicans to persuade more of his followers to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

In a round of interviews on the morning news shows, the government’s top infectious disease expert lamented polling showing that Trump supporters are more likely to refuse to get vaccinated, saying politics needs to be separated from “commonsense, no-brainer” public health measures.

Fauci said it would be a “game changer” for the country’s vaccine efforts if the former president used his “incredible influence” among Republicans.

“If he 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,” Fauci told “Fox News Sunday.”

There was no immediate comment from the former president’s office Sunday.

Trump has urged people to get vaccinated, doing so again two weeks ago at a conservative political gathering in Florida.

But he hasn’t been among former presidents and other public officials who have been vaccinated on camera to encourage others to get the shot. It was revealed only recently that he was vaccinated in private at the White House before leaving office in January.

Trump did not appear in a new public service campaign for the COVID-19 vaccine that included former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Polls have shown Republicans joining Black people and other groups in expressing greater skepticism than others about the safety of the vaccine.

Fauci said he doesn’t understand the resistance.

“What is the problem here? This is a vaccine that is going to be lifesaving for millions of people,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” He added: “I mean, I just can’t comprehend what the reason for that is when you have a vaccine that’s 94-95% effective and it is very safe. I just don’t get it.”

The number of vaccine doses distributed and administered each day in the U.S. is rising, with more than 2.5 million daily shots in arms on average in the last week.

About 1 in 5 Americans have received at least one dose, with about 1 in 9 fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The coronavirus is blamed for over 530,000 deaths in the United States. Deaths and newly confirmed infections per day have tumbled over the past two months. But cases are running at a still-troubling average of about 55,000 a day.

Fauci repeatedly warned against pulling back on public health measures too early, saying the virus could come surging back, endangering the goal of getting the country closer to normal by early July.

He pointed to Europe as a cautionary tale. Rising virus cases this winter followed rollbacks on restrictions on the continent.

___

Associated Press writer Darlene Superville contributed to this report.

Michelle Liu, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Keremeos family lost their home after a fire shortly before midnight on April 13. No injuries were reported. (Contributed)
Keremeos home destroyed in late-night fire

The family inside was unharmed

An Interior Health nurse administers Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
105 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

Just over 8,000 new vaccine doses administered in the region for a total of 158,000 to date

Campfires are allowed within the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, but open burning season comes to an end April 15 at midnight. (Black Press file photo)
Open burning season ends in Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen

Campfires are permitted, following provincial guidelines

Send your letter to the editor via email to news@summerlandreview.com. Please included your first and last name, address, and phone number.
LETTER: Name is spelled incorrectly

For 100 years, the Garnett name has been spelled incorrectly as Garnet

Send your letter to the editor via email to news@summerlandreview.com. Please included your first and last name, address, and phone number.
LETTER: Development will start disintegration of Summerland

I am in favour of affordable housing but voting for a rezoning does not address this serious issue

Arlene Howe holds up a picture of her son, Steven, at a memorial event for drug overdose victims and their families at Kelowna’s Rotary Beach Park on April 14. Steven died of an overdose at the age of 32 on Jan. 31, 2015. (Aaron Hemens - Kelowna Capital News)
Moms Stop the Harm members placed crosses Wednesday morning, April 14, on Rotary Beach in memory of children lost to drug overdoses. (Aaron Hemens - Capital News)
Kelowna mothers remember children lost to the opioid crisis

It has been five years since illicit drug deaths was announced a public health emergency

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply on 5th anniversary of overdose emergency declaration

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

Naloxone
In 2020, close to 4,000 people across IH had access to opioid medications

— By Susan Brown, President and CEO, Interior Health It has been… Continue reading

Somewhere in the pack being celebrated by his teammates is Vernon Vipers forward Zack Tonelli, who scored in overtime Wednesday afternoon, April 14, to give the Snakes a 6-5 win over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in B.C. Hockey League pod play at Kal Tire Place. (Liza Mazurek - Vernon Vipers Photography)
Vernon Vipers bite Salmon Arm Silverbacks in OT

Snakes blow 5-3 third-period lead, rally in extra time for 6-5 pod play result over rivals

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

Okanagan Falls Volunteer Fire Department, photo from Okanagan Falls Volunteer Fire Department Facebook page
The Okanagan Falls Volunteer Fire Department. (Facebook)
South Okanagan fire crews battle two blazes one-after-another

The two fires were likely caused by discarded cigarettes according to the fire department

Richmond RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng said, in March, the force received a stand-out number of seven reports of incidents that appeared to have “racial undertones.” (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
‘Racially motivated’ incidents on the rise in B.C’s 4th largest city: police

Three incidents in Richmond are currently being invested as hate crimes, says RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng

Most Read