Trump pushes one truth and hides another

Trump has been vocal this week on Covid-19 vaccines, pushing them to supporters, correcting some misinformation and clarifying that they protect against hospitalizations and deaths from Covid-19.

He also seeks personal credit for developing a vaccine and tells his supporters they should get the vaccine, although he agrees they should have the right not to get it.

When conservative podcast host Candace Owens questioned the vaccine’s effectiveness in an interview with Trump, he corrected it.

“Well, no, the vaccine works,” he said.

“The people who get very sick and go to the hospital are the ones who don’t take their vaccine. But it’s always their choice, and if you take the vaccine, you are protected.”

Owens posted excerpts from the interview days after Trump faced a handful of boos from his supporters when he spoke in a question-and-answer session with the former host of Fox News, Bill O’Reilly, on booster shot.

The two have toured with stops in Florida and Texas, but boos from a friendly crowd and the vaccine’s recoil suggest some space on the Covid issue between Trump and some conservatives.

President Joe Biden and Trump even spoke kind words to each other on the subject of vaccines this week.

“Thanks to the previous administration and our scientific community, America is one of the first countries to get vaccinated,” Biden told the White House.

Trump admitted to Fox News that he was “surprised” and “grateful” and, at least then, found it difficult to criticize Biden.

Imagine if Trump had taken this vocally pro-vaccine stance a few months ago, boosting confidence in the vaccine at the time instead of making statements like this:

“People refuse to be vaccinated because they don’t trust his administration, they don’t trust the election results, and they certainly don’t trust the Fake News, which refuse to tell the truth,” he said. he said in a press release. statement in July as the Delta variant took root.
Trump has been pushing Americans to get vaccinated before, but he hasn’t really shouted from the rooftops about it. He kept his own vaccination silent until he left office.

CNN’s Veronica Stracqualursi and David Wright note that Trump has “frequently politicized the development and deployment of vaccines and told the Wall Street Journal in September that he was unlikely to receive a booster. He was also inconsistent in promoting of science-based recommendations to slow the spread of the virus and pushed for refuted treatments for Covid-19. ”

Now, however, he takes personal credit.

“I came up with a vaccine, with three vaccines. All of them are very, very good. I found three in less than nine months,” he told Owens.

Unfortunately, his previous attitude likely influenced – or was influenced by – Republicans’ distrust of vaccines.

According to November data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, four in ten Republicans are still unvaccinated, let alone boosted.

While most Republicans, like most Americans, are fully or partially vaccinated, it’s also true that most unvaccinated Americans either belong to or support the GOP, according to CNN’s Ariel Edwards-Levy. She cites research which suggests that even Trump’s approval is unlikely to change the minds of holdouts.

A much larger proportion of Republicans – 72% in a recent NPR / PBS NewsHour / Marist poll – may have been swayed by Trump’s 2020 election conspiracy theory and don’t believe the results were accurate.

The electoral lie is perhaps Trump’s favorite thing to talk about publicly. And vaccines are something he will now advocate for.

But he’s also trying to keep other things quiet this week. His lawyers have asked the Supreme Court to exempt him from handing over documents and communications related to the January 6 uprising.

The House committee responsible for investigating the insurgency is on the verge, after the judicial victories, of obtaining the documents from the National Archives.

But Trump on Thursday asked the judges of the highest court for help, demanding that they honor his claim for executive privilege even though he is no longer in office.

Trump wants to keep around 700 pages of documents secret, according to the CNN report, “including activity logs, schedules, speech notes and three pages of handwritten notes from the then White House chief of staff. , Mark Meadows – documents that could reveal events inside the West Wing as Trump supporters gather in Washington, then invade the United States Capitol, disrupting the certification of the 2020 vote. ”

Breaking with recent tradition, Biden has refused to assert executive privilege on Trump’s behalf.

While he wants to keep the documents sealed, Trump continues to talk, whenever he can, about his fantasy that the 2020 election has been stolen from him. There was a fascinating report from the Washington Post on Thursday about how Trump’s lie continued to fester at the local and state levels as election skeptics demand more and new recounts, even in states that Trump has. easily won.

It’s a worrying trend for American democracy as election officials prepare for the 2022 midterm election, when Republicans are expected to regain control of the House of Representatives, and eagerly await the 2024 presidential election. , which may well feature Trump’s rematch against. Biden.

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