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Dr. Fauci Just Sent This Urgent Message to Donald Trump

The infectious disease expert hopes Trump tells his followers to get vaccinated. "It would really be a game changer.”
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

President Donald Trump and the First Lady got the COVID vaccine in January, in private, and Operation Warp Speed was overseen by his administration. Why, then, has Trump not told his followers to get vaccinated? A recent public service announcement featured every living ex-President except him touting the vaccine, and a new poll shows that nearly a majority of Republican men say they won't be getting the vaccine. On the Sunday morning news shows, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was asked what he thought Trump should do to save lives. Read on to see what he said—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus

Dr. Fauci Said Trump Should Tell People to Get the Vaccine and "Can't Comprehend" Why Politics Should Play a Part

Dr. Fauci addressed the issue on Meet the Press Sunday morning. "I want to talk about vaccine hesitancy here," said host Todd, "because we're noticing something, at least in polling, that it is not the conventional wisdom about conducting hesitancy, that you see this divided by race. We're seeing a bigger divide by politics. We talked about it earlier, for instance, among Trump voters, 47% have said that they will not be vaccinated….half of Republican men say, they're not going to take this vaccine. You had the PSA with all the former presidents, except one president—Trump—in there. Do you think he needs to be enlisted here at all to get his voters to take this?"

"Look, I hope he does," said Fauci, "because the numbers that you gave us so disturbing 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. And I've been saying that for so long, we've got to dissociate political persuasion from what's common sense, no-brainer, public health things. The history of vaccinology has rescued us from smallpox, from polio, from measles, from all of the other diseases. What is the problem here?"

Fauci went on: "This is a vaccine that is going to be life-saving 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% effective and it is very safe. I just don't get it."

RELATED: Dr. Fauci Just Said This is the Best Vaccine to Get

Dr. Fauci Said Trump's Involvement Could be a "Gamechanger"

Dr. Fauci addressed the issue on Fox News Sunday earlier that morning, when host Chris Wallace played the PSA. "Now conspicuous by his absence in that public service announcement was President Trump," said Wallace. "And here is why that was important. According to a recent poll, the 49% of Republican men said they don't intend to get the vaccine. How much of a difference will it make President Trump, who was largely responsible for the success of Operation Warp Speed—how much of a difference will it make if President Trump leads a campaign for the people who are most devoted to him to actually go out and get the vaccine?"

"Chris, I think it would make all the difference in the world," said Dr. Fauci. "He's a very widely popular person 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. He's such a strongly popular person. I cannot imagine that if he comes out that they would not get vaccinated would be very helpful to the effort for that to happen."

Dr. Fauci then remarked upon the disturbing statistic. "I'm very surprised that the high percentage of Republicans who say they don't want to get vaccinated, I don't understand where that's coming from. This is not a political issue. This is a public health issue. And the history of vaccinology tells us when you look at smallpox, polio, measles, all the things that vaccines have been so incredibly helpful in getting us out of difficulty with those infections. I just don't get it. Chris, why they don't want to get vaccinated?"

Wallace asked Fauci why he thought Trump got vaccinated in private, and hasn't told people to get theirs.

"Again, it's puzzling to me," said Fauci. "I mean, clearly Operation Warp Speed started in the Trump administration. It was very successful in getting us the vaccines we have right now. It seems like an intrinsic contradiction. That 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 the people in the Republican party. It would really be a game changer if he did."

As for yourself, no matter your politics, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more about Alek