Former president Trump recommended that skeptical Americans take the COVID-19 vaccine during a Tuesday night interview, answering growing calls from Democrats who have said his endorsement will help to convince his reticent supporters.
“I would recommend it,” Trump said during an interview on Fox News with Maria 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. But again, we have our freedoms and we have to live by that and I agree with that also. But it is a great vaccine. It is a safe vaccine and it is something that works.”
Responding to polls which show that Republicans are more hesitant to receive the vaccine, President Joe Biden and others in his party have called on Trump to speak out about the importance of vaccination.
Trump addressed the issue during his CPAC address in Orlando last month, taking credit for the roll out and urging his supporters to seek out the vaccine.
“We took care of a lot of people — including, I guess, on December 21st, we took care of Joe Biden, because he got his shot, he got his vaccine,” Trump said during his CPAC speech. “It shows you how un-painful all that vaccine shot is. So everybody go get your shot. He forgot so it wasn’t very traumatic obviously, but he got his shot and it’s good that he got his shot.”
All living U.S. presidents excluding Trump participated in a national ad campaign urging Americans to get vaccinated.
During the interview Trump also touched on the growing migrant crisis gripping the border, telling Bartiromo that the migrant influx will “destroy our country.”
“Today, they are coming in. You take a look. They are coming in from foreign countries. I see they are coming in from Yemen. They are coming in from the Middle East. They are coming in from everywhere,” he said. “They are dropping them off and they are pouring into our country. It is a disgrace.”
Trump’s comments come after Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas issued a statement earlier in the day in which he predicted the number of illegal immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border could reach levels not seen in 20 years.
“The situation at the southwest border is difficult,” Mayorkas said in his statement. “We are on pace to encounter more individuals on the southwest border than we have in the last 20 years. We are expelling most single adults and families. We are not expelling unaccompanied children.”