Trump’s effort to change the dialogue around vaccines may be part of a general election strategy to take on President Joe Biden in 2024, according to Trump advisers, former aides, and administration officials. These allies don’t think there’s any downside to his promoting the shots and his administration’s efforts to accelerate their development in a GOP primary — which Trump would enter as the prohibitive favorite should he decide to run — even with surveys showing 30 percent to 40 percent of the Republican base declining so far to be vaccinated or saying they never will.
“He has a right to believe in them, and he’s taking them, and he thinks that other people should,” said conservative talk show host John Fredericks, the chair of Trump’s campaigns in Virginia in 2016 and 2020. “Also, he’s not for mandates. He’s not for making people put something in their body or take something they don’t want.” He predicted that the controversy would have “zero impact” on the primaries.
Before his recent flurry of appearances promoting the vaccines, Trump had been hearing privately from allies and advisers that he needs to be more full-throated in urging people to get the shots.
Article and photo courtesy of NBC.