UNITED STATES NEWS

Trump slams politicians who won’t say they got booster shots

Jan 12, 2022, 7:00 PM | Updated: Jan 13, 2022, 5:24 am
FILE - Former President Donald Trump smiles as he pauses while speaking to supporters at a Turning ...

FILE - Former President Donald Trump smiles as he pauses while speaking to supporters at a Turning Point Action gathering in Phoenix, July 24, 2021. Trump is slamming politicians who refuse to say whether they’ve received COVID-19 booster shots, calling them “gutless.” In an interview with One America News Network on Tuesday night, he said unnamed politicians have been afraid to admit they got the booster shot. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump is slamming politicians who refuse to say whether they have received COVID-19 booster shots as “gutless.”

“You gotta say it. Whether you had it or not, say it,” Trump said in an interview that aired Tuesday night on the conservative One America News Network.

Trump, who was booed last month by supporters after revealing he had gotten a booster shot, has become increasingly vocal in calling out those who have questioned the vaccines’ efficacy and safety. It’s a change in posture for Trump as he eyes another run for the White House and faces potential competition from a long list of possible Republican challengers.

Even though the vaccines were developed during the Trump administration, they remain deeply unpopular with large segments of the Republican base, fueled in part by rampant disinformation. Trump, while in office, consistently downplayed the risk posed by COVID-19 and he received his vaccine privately, even as other members of his administration were inoculated in public to help boost confidence in the shots.

“Well, I’ve taken it. I’ve had the booster,” Trump said in the interview. “I watched a couple of politicians be interviewed and one of the questions was, ‘Did you get the booster?’ …. And they, ‘Oh, oh,’ they’re answering it — like in other words, the answer is ‘Yes,’ but they don’t want to say it. Because they’re gutless.”

Trump did not name names, and his spokespeople did not immediately respond to questions about which politicians he was referencing. But Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a rising star in the Republican Party who is often mentioned as a possible 2024 presidential contender, has notably declined to say whether he has received a booster.

“So I’ve done whatever I did, the normal shot. And, you know, that, at the end of the day, is people’s individual decisions about what they want to do,” DeSantis told Fox News Channel host Maria Bartiromo last month.

DeSantis’ office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Many House Republicans, including top Trump allies, have also declined to disclose their vaccination status. Some such as Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene are open about their refusal to get it.

By criticizing other politicians reluctant to disclose their vaccination status, Trump appears to be looking to turn the shots into a political issue that allows him to promote his administration’s success in facilitating their development while creating a contrast with other possible 2024 GOP candidates loath to upset the base.

In recent weeks, the highly contagious omicron variant has driven record case counts, overwhelmed hospitals and disrupted essential services because of staffing shortages. The booster has been shown to significantly bolster immune protection against the variant, and the Biden White House has urged Americans to take the shots.

In an interview last month, Trump seemed to acknowledge the risk many of his supporters were taking by not getting vaccinated, though he has repeatedly said he is against mandating the shots.

“This was going to ravage the country far beyond what it is right now. Take credit for it. Take credit for it. … Don’t let them take it away. Don’t take it away from ourselves,” he said in December during an appearance with former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly when Trump first revealed he had received the booster and was booed by some in the crowd.

In an interview with conservative commentator Candace Owens, Trump stressed how well the vaccines work at preventing hospitalization and serious illness.

“The ones that get very sick and go to the hospital are the ones that don’t take their vaccine,” he told her. “People aren’t dying when they take their vaccine.”

Owens, a longtime Trump supporter, later sought to undermine Trump’s support of the vaccines in the interview by pointing to his age, 75.

But in the OAN interview, Trump did not relent.

“The fact is that I think the vaccine has saved tens of millions of people throughout the world. I have had absolutely no side effects,” he said. Still, he repeated his opinion that young people, for whom serious complications for the virus are rare, should not be vaccinated, even though health officials have urged everyone who is eligible to get the shots.

Trump was hospitalized with COVID-19 in October 2020, weeks before the presidential election, and received experimental monoclonal antibody treatment.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

United States News

FILE - Tourists are seen along the beach at the Iberostar Selection Varadero hotel in Varadero, Cub...
Associated Press

White House moves to loosen remittance, flight rules on Cuba

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration announced Monday that it will expand flights to Cuba, take steps to loosen restrictions on U.S. travelers to the island, and lift Trump-era restrictions on remittances that immigrants can send to people on the island. The State Department said in a statement that it will remove the current $1,000-per-quarter […]
18 hours ago
FILE - Responders congregate near where two people drowned the evening before when they were locked...
Associated Press

Deputy stands trial after SC women drowned in police van

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A deputy charged in the deaths of two women who drowned in a locked police van in 2018 ignored barricades and drove into rapidly rising floodwaters against advice from his supervisors and officials on the South Carolina highway, a prosecutor said Monday. Former Horry County deputy Stephen Flood is on trial […]
18 hours ago
The daughters of Ruth Whitfield, a victim of shooting at a supermarket, Angela Crawley, left, and R...
Associated Press

Violent death in America stalks ordinary walks of daily life

WASHINGTON (AP) — In far-flung cities, deadly violence ripped apart the most typical of American spring weekends, driven by rage or madness, the bloodiest by suspected racist hate. The crime scenes represented a cross-section of ordinariness — a grocery store in upstate New York, a California church, a Texas flea market, the streets near a […]
18 hours ago
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during her first press briefing as press secr...
Associated Press

New press secretary hails barrier breakers who paved way

WASHINGTON (AP) — Karine Jean-Pierre held her first briefing as the new White House press secretary on Monday, crediting “barrier-breaking people” who came before her for making it possible for a Black, gay, immigrant woman like herself to rise to one of the most high-profile jobs in American government. “I stand on their shoulders. If […]
18 hours ago
FILE - This photo provided by Western Tidewater Regional Jail shows Robert Keith Packer of Newport ...
Associated Press

Feds seek prison for rioter in ‘Camp Auschwitz’ sweatshirt

Federal prosecutors on Monday recommended a prison sentence of more than two months for a Virginia man who stormed the U.S. Capitol wearing a “Camp Auschwitz” sweatshirt. Photographs of Robert Keith Packer wearing the sweatshirt with the antisemitic message went viral after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. When FBI agents asked him […]
18 hours ago
FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Fort Worth Police Department shows Jason Thornburg. ...
Associated Press

Death penalty sought in Texas for man who admitted killing 5

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Prosecutors in Texas said Monday that they will seek the death penalty for a man who authorities have said confessed to killing five people, including three whose dismembered bodies were found in a burning dumpster last year. The Tarrant County district attorney’s office said they’ve filed the paperwork to seek […]
18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Arizona Division of Problem Gambling

Arizona Division of Problem Gambling provides exclusion solution for young sports bettors

Sports betting in Arizona opened a new world to young adults, one where putting down money on games was as easy as sending a text message.
...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to in April

April brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Suns and Diamondbacks.
...
DAY & NIGHT AIR CONDITIONING, HEATING AND PLUMBING

In Sonoran heat, prevent costly AC repairs with an annual tune-up

As winter has finally passed and the days are becoming warmer, now is a good time to be sure your AC unit is polished and ready to run.
Trump slams politicians who won’t say they got booster shots