Dr Anthony Fauci said on Sunday that he would like former President Donald Trump to use his popularity among Republicans to persuade more of his followers to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
In an interview with the morning news show, the government’s chief infectious disease expert lamented a poll showing that Trump supporters were likely to refuse to be vaccinated, saying politics should be separated from “absurd, unwise” public health measures.
Fauzi said it would be a “game-changing” vaccine effort if the former president used his “incredible influence” among Republicans.
“If he came out, he said, ‘Go get vaccinated.’ “It’s really important for your health, for the health of your family, for the health of the country,” he said. :
There was no immediate comment from the former president’s office on Sunday.
Trump urged people to be vaccinated, again two weeks ago at a conservative rally in Florida.
But he was not among the former presidents, “other government officials who were vaccinated in front of the cameras,” encouraging others to film. It was only recently that he was vaccinated privately at the White House before stepping down in January.
Trump did not appear in the new public service campaign for the COVID-19 vaccine, which included former presidents Jim Immy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
Polls show Republicans joining other groups of black people, expressing greater skepticism than others about vaccine safety.
Fauzi said he did not understand the resistance.
“What is the problem here?” “This is a vaccine that will save millions of people,” he told NBC’s Meet the Press. He added. “I mean, I just can not understand why, when you have a 94-95% effective vaccine, it’s very safe. I just do not understand. “
The number of vaccine dosages that are distributed and administered daily in the United States is increasing. Over the past week, an average of more than 2.5 million shots have been recorded daily.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 5 Americans has received at least one dose, and 1 in 9 have been fully vaccinated.
Coronavirus is blamed for more than 530,000 deaths in the United States. Deaths and newly established infections have been falling every day for the past two months. But things are moving at an alarming average of around 55,000 every day.
Fauci has repeatedly warned against taking public health measures too soon, saying the virus could return, threatening to bring the country back to normal by early July.
He cited Europe as a cautionary tale. Rising cases of the virus this winter followed the return of restrictions on the continent.
Associated Press writer Darlene Superville contributed to this report.