Hearing a few boos after confirming his boosted status, Trump said his administration — and its supporters — “did something that was historic” by helping to speed up vaccine development last year. He said the vaccines averted an even worse outcome from COVID like that of “the Spanish Flu of 1917” (wrong year again, but whatever). And he urged his fans to “take credit” for the vaccines, warning them that expressing skepticism is “playing right into their hands.” (“Their” presumably refers to evil Democrats in this context.)
The comments came during the last stop of the brief “History Tour” Trump undertook with O’Reilly, the disgraced but still popular (in some circles) former Fox News anchor, which played to non-sellout crowds in Florida and Texas.
Trump talked up Operation Warp Speed — his administration’s successful vaccine-development drive — a fair amount during the 2020 campaign. But since he decamped to Florida, he has been more focused on putting forward conspiracy theories about the election he lost than on trying to take credit for America’s inoculation campaign. Given the mistrust many Trump voters feel regarding the vaccines, his unabashed endorsement Sunday is notable. It also stands in contrast to the way many Republican officials now talk about vaccines, including Florida governor Ron Desantis, a possible rival for Trump in 2024. On Fox News Sunday morning, DeSantis, who once vigorously promoted the jabs but has since gone hard in the other direction, said he had only gotten the “normal shot,” not a booster.