Politics

Dr. Fauci says Donald Trump’s support for vaccines came too late, blames him for ‘discouraging vaccines’

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical adviser to the White House, said on Monday that former President Donald Trump’s support of the vaccine came too late as the pandemic has progressed.

Fauci accused Trump of “poisoning the well” by promoting vaccine hesitancy. “Poisoning the well early on about – even not being enthusiastic or outright not pushing vaccines and discouraging vaccines now has a lingering effect,” Fauci said during an interview with CNN’s Kaitlan Collins.

Fauci served as an advisor to Trump in the early months of the pandemic, and he has described his working relationship with Trump as “somewhat awkward.” They also seemed to often contradict each other on appropriate pandemic measures. 

Earlier this month, Trump said to a crowd that he had been fully vaccinated and gotten his booster shot. He voiced support for the vaccines, which were developed under his administration, which prompted boos from the audience.

While Fauci, who also serves as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he was glad Trump was showing support for the vaccines, his earlier mixed signaling about them has contributed to people’s unwillingness to get vaccinated.

“Even when you come out and say, ‘Go get vaccinated,’ some of the people that have been following his every word and what he does are now pushing back and not listening,” Fauci added. 

Fauci also told Collins he was “stunned by the fact that he’s doing that and he’s getting booed in some places for doing that.” He added, “Which really tells you the strength of the divisiveness in our society, which I’ve always said, to me, is the biggest stumbling block about getting this pandemic under control.”

Trump said in an interview with conservative commentator Candace Owens that although he’s suggesting that people get vaccinated, he completely opposes vaccine mandates, which the Biden administration has sought this year. 

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: VANITY FAIR

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