Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday touted the COVID-19 vaccines and his administration’s role in developing them, saying they’ve saved millions of lives.
Trump also urged his supporters to get vaccinated.
“We got a vaccine done in nine months and, fortunately, that’s not only going to save our country, it's gonna save the world,” Trump said.
He made the comments in an interview with Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo, who asked Trump about the border crisis and the stimulus package.
Trump broached the subject of vaccines, saying they are one of his administration’s biggest accomplishments.
“I forced [the FDA] to move quickly and we got the vaccine done in nine months instead of four years,” he said. “I don't think it would have ever been done, frankly, because according to their rules and regulations they would have never had it.
“... We did a great job. We get very little credit for it.”
The “most important” element in getting the economy back on track, Trump said, is the Covid-19 vaccine.
“The key was always going to be the vaccine,” he said. “We gave up to 1.3 million shots the day before [Biden] even took over.”
Trump then discussed Operation Warp Speed, which accelerated distribution of the vaccine by manufacturing doses before they were approved.
“We started manufacturing the vaccine before we really knew it worked. We saved many many months, and millions of lives by doing that, because you wouldn't have the vaccine right now, if we didn't take that chance,” he said. “We knew what we were doing. ... We felt strongly it was going to work, and we took a risk. And the risk was spending billions of dollars to develop it before we knew and before we had the approval that it was going to work. It works incredibly well – 95 percent. ... It works incredibly well. And it's really saving our country and it's saving, frankly, the world.”
Trump and his wife, Melania, were given the Covid vaccine in January.
Asked if he would recommend that the Fox News audience get the vaccine, Trump said: “I would. I would recommend it, and I would recommend it to a lot of people that don't want to get it, and a lot of those people voted for me, frankly. But, again, we have our freedoms, and we have to live by that, and I agree with that also. But it's a great vaccine. It’s a safe vaccine and it's something that works.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Joe Raedle/Staff
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.