We may be coming up on the one-year anniversary of this wretched COVID-19 pandemic, but there is at least an ever-brighter light at the end of the tunnel: vaccines, highly, highly effective ones that are already making their way through the US population, albeit in a process that has had its fair share of frustrations. If it seems like there’s been a sudden influx of vaccine good news, that’s true — but it’s also true that the last five weeks have been the first under a President who actively encourages vaccination. When President Joe Biden took over from Donald Trump, he ushered in a new era in which politicians actively endorsed the national vaccination effort, a necessary measure given the high percentage of Trump supporters with doubts about the vaccine. Now, it’s come out that Donald and wife Melania Trump both did receive the COVID-19 vaccine the second they could — in fact, while Trump was still in office. But unlike the slew of public officials who got their shots on camera, like Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and many more, Donald and Melania did so in secret.
Per Maggie Haberman’s New York Times report, Donald and Melania “quietly received coronavirus vaccinations in January before leaving the White House,” news that came to light after Donald appeared at the CPAC conference and instructed the crowd to “go get your shot,” after which it was revealed he’d gotten his own the previous month. A month ago, it would have been quite the surprise to see Donald roll up his sleeve and pose for a photo while getting the vaccine — despite the fact that former Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and many more did so in a bipartisan show of support for these vaccines.
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Donald’s instinct to downplay the virus as President was firmly at odds with his colleagues’ desire to ramp up public interest before the situation was beyond repair. As we approach one year of living with this pandemic, we have all thought long and hard about where the government response has gone wrong, how they’ve failed to provide clear communication or material support throughout this ongoing crisis. In Oct. 2020, after recovering from a severe bout of COVID-19 that saw him hospitalized, Donald bragged to an audience that he was “Immune,” saying “I’ll walk in there, I’ll kiss everyone in that audience.”
The politicians who documented their shots were lucky to be high on the vaccine list, yes, but they also provided a service, a promise that they wanted every American to have access to the same vaccine that they had deemed effective enough for themselves. When Donald and Melania decided that maybe they weren’t actually immune and maybe they did want the vaccine, the choice not to share that with the American people speaks volumes about their priorities.
Before you go, click here to see presidential families over the years.
Launch Gallery: See Donald Trump & More of the Trump Family in This Photo Album
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