WASHINGTON – Former President Donald Trump’s admission that he received a COVID-19 booster shot did not inoculate him from criticism by some fervent supporters.
More than a few boos greeted Trump after he confirmed his booster shot during a Sunday question-and-answer session in Dallas with the former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly.
Waving off the boos – “don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t!” he said – Trump attributed the dissonance to a “very tiny group over there.”
No Spin News, O’Reilly’s new organization, tweeted out video of the exchange.
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Some long-time adherents of Trump’s political movement oppose vaccinations, though the former president has also urged them to take credit for vaccines developed during his administration. Trump also opposes mandates that require people to be vaccinated, particularly the ones promoted by President Joe Biden.
“If you don’t want to take it, you shouldn’t be forced to take it,” Trump told the crowd in Dallas. “But take credit because we saved tens of millions of lives. Take credit. Don’t let them take that away from you.”
During his presidency, Trump disclosed in early October of last year that he had contracted COVID-19. He spent that weekend in the hospital, just a month before Election Day. Trump took a vaccine shortly before leaving the White House on Jan. 20.
In public appearances throughout the year, Trump has urged supporters to get vaccinated. He has occasionally drawn catcalls for these requests, such as at an August rally in Alabama.
Trump’s decision to take the booster is something of a reversal. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal in early September, Trump questioned whether he would take the additional shot.
“I feel like I’m in good shape from that standpoint – I probably won’t,” Trump told the Journal. “I’ll look at stuff later on. I’m not against it, but it’s probably not for me.”