With the Omicron variant of COVID-19 raging and heralding “a winter of severe illness and death,” according to the White House’s ominous warning, Donald Trump chose this moment to reveal something about himself. Not only is he “fully vaxxed” against COVID-19, but he’s also gotten a booster shot. That’s something that millions of his supporters, of course, still haven’t done and remain skeptical about. In fact, the former president drew a smattering of boos when he revealed this news as part of a live event in Dallas on Sunday. He was accompanied by former Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly.
“You’re playing right into their hands” by doubting the effectiveness of the vaccine, Trump told the crowd.
COVID-19 booster shot for President Trump
“Look, we did something that was historic, we saved tens of millions of lives worldwide when we — together, all of us — we got a vaccine done,” Trump told the crowd. “This was going to ravage the country far beyond what it is right now, take credit for it … It’s great, what we’ve done is historic. Don’t let them take it away.”
Will President Trump giving his tacit endorsement of booster shots make any difference to the vaccination campaign underway now? It’s hard to say. The audible boos in the clip above would suggest probably not. We’re also still spinning our wheels nationally over things like face masks. One thing that I also suspect definitely won’t is the harder edge in comments emanating from the White House and president Biden himself. For Trump, however, his acknowledgment this weekend is a turnabout from comments he gave to The Wall Street Journal back in September. When he said he didn’t feel like a booster was a necessity for him at the time.
“A winter of severe illness and death”
Meanwhile, in light of the surging Omicron variant, President Biden will give a “Winter is coming”-style speech to the nation on Tuesday. “He will remind Americans that they can protect themselves from severe illness from COVID-19 by getting vaccinated and getting their booster shot when they are eligible,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted, ahead of the speech.
As far as recent statistics go, through December 16? More than 240 million Americans are vaccinated with at least one Covid vaccine dose. That’s a little more than 70% of the US population.
White House racing to expand booster shot campaign
However, millions of Americans remain un-boosted. Even though studies show boosters provide much more protection against the highly transmissible strain of Covid that’s extremely worrying to public health officials right now.
The boss of White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci at the National Institutes of Health gave a Fox interview along these lines over the weekend. That official, NIH director Francis Collins, talked up the importance of vaccines and booster shots.
“I get upset because people point to anecdotes of somebody who got sick even though they had been vaccinated and say, ‘There, you see, it doesn’t work,'” Collins told Fox News Sunday guest host Bret Baier. “That’s way too simplistic.”