During an exclusive interview Tuesday night with Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo on “Fox News Primetime,” former President Donald J. Trump said that he “recommends” that Americans get the COVID-19 vaccine—while also noting that we have personal freedoms in this country and that the decision to receive the vaccine is an individual one that should be respected.
“I would recommend it,” he told Bartiromo, “and I would recommend it to a lot of people that don’t want to get it, and a lot of those people voted for me, frankly.”
Added Trump, “But again, we have our freedoms and we have to live by them—and I agree with that also. But it is a great vaccine. It is a safe vaccine and it is something that works.”
The 45th president noted that pharmaceutical companies and the FDA have been toiling “around the clock” to develop the vaccines.
Trump created Operation Warp Speed, a public-private partnership, during his presidency. It spurred the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics. Even Andy Slavitt, a senior adviser to Biden’s coronavirus team, recently said he was “grateful” for that effort—though Biden himself has not said as much.
Said Slavitt last week on Fox News, “We’re grateful for the work that came before us and are doing the best we can to continue it and accelerate it … I would absolutely tip my hat … The Trump administration made sure that we got in record time a vaccine up and out. That’s a great thing and it’s something we should all be excited about.”
A survey released on March 12 from NPR, PBS NewsHour, and Marist found that the two groups most likely to respond “no” about getting the vaccine were Republican men (49 percent) and those who supported Trump in 2020 (47 percent).
Trump, on Tuesday night, also slammed the actions at the southern border by newly elected President Joe Biden—though Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is still refusing to call the “surge of the century,” as The New York Post is calling it, an actual crisis. Tens of thousands of Central Americans have journeyed to the border since the inauguration, with some insisting they thought they would be welcomed with open arms by the new president.
With Biden’s “open door” leanings for migrants, the flood of people trying to get into our country illegally has indeed reached crisis proportions—and just in February 2021 alone, more than 100,000 people were apprehended there.
“My policies were working better than they’ve ever seen on the southern border,” said Trump. “The wall is almost complete … Little sections just had to be [fixed] … But they’ve chosen to stop right in the middle. They could have finished it in a month, and it would be just magnificent. It already is effective … and they should finish it. But they’re destroying our country. People are coming in by the hundreds of thousands. Young children are coming in. And they leave their homes, then they come up because they think it’s going to be so wonderful … It is a crisis like we’ve rarely had, and certainly we’ve never had [this] on the border.”
Trump also said, “But it’s going to get much worse.”
“I mean, what you’re seeing now is very bad—record numbers—but it’s going to get much, much worse,” said Trump. “With a little bit of time, you’ll see those numbers expand at a level like you’ve never seen before.”
During the interview, Trump also criticized Biden and his fellow Democrats for the near-$1 or higher hike in gas prices, as a result of Biden’s executive orders that have cut back on American energy production and transport.
“When I look at what is happening—we were energy independent,” said Trump. Today, “gas prices are going up at a far more rapid rate than anyone has seen in a long time. We had gas prices very low, and yet we had more energy jobs than we have ever had.”
The 45th president also believes Democrats will hike taxes to the “highest number that we have ever seen”—something that will be “devastating” for the American economy.
Trump now maintains an “Office of the Former President” in Palm Beach County, Florida, which he announced in late January.
Ahead of the 2022 midterms, Trump has issued some political endorsements, including for Ohio congressional hopeful Max Miller, a Republican seeking to unseat Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), as Fox News pointed out. Gonzalez voted for Trump’s impeachment early this year.
Trump has also said he’ll visit Alaska to campaign for any GOP primary challenger to Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).
In addition, Trump endorsed his former press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who is now running for governor of Arkansas.
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Maureen Mackey is a writer, editor, web content executive, and regular contributor to Christian News Journal.