Facui Calls for Trump to Push Supporters Toward Vaccination

Trump Created This Monster, It’s His Job To Tame It

Thatcher Fox Richard, Contributing Writer

According to the Marist Poll published by NPR and PBS News, 47 percent of those who voted for Donald Trump in the 2020 Presidential election and 49 percent of Republican men would refuse the COVID-19 vaccine if offered it. In reaction to this poll, epidemiologist Anthony Fauci made a call on NBC’s Meet The Press for former President Donald Trump to encourage his supporters to get the vaccine when they are eligible to do so, stating that “the numbers [NPR] gave are so disturbing, such a large proportion of a certain group of people would not want to get vaccinated because of political consideration.” The call from Dr. Fauci is one that is apolitical; it is simply urging everyone who cares about those around them to complete a minute task to keep themselves and others from getting sick. Trump later made a statement on Fox News: “I would recommend it, 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.” 

The problem that arises with Trump’s statement is the same problem which came from his call for peace during the capitol riots in January: it is too far out of his control to change anyone’s mind. After giving speeches, holding rallies denouncing the Democrats, and criticizing the validity of a government run by Democrats, a simple statement on one evening newscast is not enough. In his four years in office, Trump has cast so much ignorance into the heart of moderates and conservatives,  confirming the ridiculous conspiracy theories of his more extreme supporters, that such a bland statement on vaccinations will never be enough to sway that demographic into changing their minds. Trump spent his pandemic-era-presidency avoiding making clear policy for mask wearing and went to great lengths to silence the nation’s top infectious disease experts like Dr. Fauci. If Trump had tried to bring the nation together and stop the spread of the pandemic rather than making masks and social distancing a political issue, the statistics given by NPR would certainly not be as staggering as they are now. 

Many public health experts have stated that the United States needs at least a 70-85 percent vaccination rate in order to achieve herd immunity. With NPR and PBS reporting 47 percent of Trump supporters and 49 percent of Republican men refuse the vaccine, there is little hope of achieving that 70 to 85 percent vaccination rate in the current political climate. Trump has spent so much time making the concept of mask wearing and social distancing a politicized point for his followers that it will be incredibly difficult for President Biden to not only reverse the polarization of the topic, but to also convince that 49 percent of Republican men to get vaccinated. It is as Dr. Fauci said on NBC’s Meet The Press, “We’ve got to dissociate political persuasion from common sense.” If President Biden cannot succeed where Trump failed and convince everyone to get the vaccines, the pandemic will last significantly longer than past  predictions. 

Herd immunity is most effective the faster people get vaccinated. If you are not able to get a vaccine in Massachusetts by the end of the semester, please check your state government’s vaccine rollout website to see when you are eligible. 

Massachusetts opens their vaccinations for anyone over the age of 16 on April 19, 2021 in their Phase 3 rollout. Please visit the Massachusetts government website for more details. 

Connecticut opens their vaccinations for anyone over the age of 16 on April 5, 2021 in their phase three rollout as well. Please visit Connecticut’s government website for more details.