In perhaps the least shocking news you’ll hear all day, Trump and Melania made sure to get vaccinated before leaving the White House in January.
Though of course we didn’t hear about it at the time, a Trump adviser shared this barely-revelatory revelation with Axios after the former president appeared at CPAC over the weekend to dump on the Republicans who voted to impeach him and preserve his standing in the party. During the same rambling 90-minute speech on Sunday, Trump also encouraged his supporters to get their jabs, probably one of the only times Trump has said anything useful about covid.
In typical Trump fashion, he delivered this public service announcement while simultaneously taking all of the credit for the vaccine (never mind that his administration completely bungled the rollout): “Never let them forget this was us,” he told the CPAC crowd. “We did this.”
“We took care of a lot of people—including, I guess, on December 21st, we took care of Joe Biden, because he got his shot, he got his vaccine,” Trump continued. “It shows you how unpainful that vaccine shot is. ...So everybody, go get your shot.”
Inspiring words from a man who got covid after spending months downplaying the severity of the virus, and was reportedly unwilling to get the vaccine before the White House medical team recommended it to him. The only public good that could have come from Trump’s ultimate decision to get the vaccine would have been if he had broadcast it, as other politicians have. Experts say that when leaders get vaccinated publicly, it increases people’s confidence in the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness—confidence Trump’s base in particular is lacking (largely thanks to Trump).
But why would Trump do anything good?