Trump Sends Note to NYT Reporter on Vaccines

After getting booed over his booster, he pushes back again, says he's 'very proud' of vaccines
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 21, 2021 9:06 AM CST
Trump Doubles Down on Vaccine Support
Former President Trump speaks during a rally in Perry, Ga., on Sept. 25, 2021.   (AP Photo/Ben Gray, File)

(Newser) – The story was in wide circulation on Monday: Donald Trump was booed by his own supporters after he informed them he had received a booster shot. Now, in a follow-up, the former president is reaffirming his faith in COVID vaccines. "Must tell the truth—and very proud to have produced the 3 vaccines so quickly—million of lives saved worldwide," Trump wrote in a note to New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, who had asked a spokesperson about the incident. (Haberman posted an image of Trump's note.) The booing took place at a public forum with former Fox host Bill O'Reilly, as part of their "History Tour" circuit. Later, O'Reilly spoke with Dan Abrams of NewsNation Now and said Trump called him afterward to discuss what happened.

“I said ‘This is good for you, this is good that people see another side of you, not a political side, you told the truth, you believe in the vax, your administration did it, and you should take credit for it, because it did save, I don’t know, hundreds of thousands of lives,'" O'Reilly said, per the Hill. Abrams countered by accusing Trump of politicizing the vaccines while in office, and the Washington Post notes that a federal study even called Trump "the main driver of vaccine misinformation on Twitter" before he was suspended from the platform. On that front, O'Reilly acknowledged that part of the Trump base opposes vaccines and added, “Every single politician plays to a crew.”

Trump's decision to receive a booster marks something of a turnaround for the former president. He told the Wall Street Journal in September that he probably wouldn't get one, though he added, “I’ll look at stuff later on. I’m not against it, but it’s probably not for me.” Around that same time, he told Maria Bartiromo of Fox Business that the boosters were a "money-making operation" for Pfizer, per Insider. Despite his renewed support of the vaccines, Trump made clear in the forum with O'Reilly that he opposes mandates, a position that drew applause from the crowd. “I’m trying to tell President Trump, run on your record," says O'Reilly. "He’s going to run again, all right.” (Read more Donald Trump stories.)

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