White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday that she wanted to “echo” comments made by former President Donald Trump about the safety and effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines — a rare example of agreement between the two administrations that highlights Trump’s value in boosting confidence in the vaccines.
Psaki retweeted a video clip of Trump’s interview with right-wing pundit Candace Owens in which he said “people aren’t dying when they take the vaccine” and “if you take the vaccine you’re protected,” though he added it’s a personal choice to get the vaccine or not.
In the interview released Wednesday, when Owens said “more people have died under Covid this year” despite wide-scale vaccination against the disease in the U.S., Trump interrupted her to point out that “the vaccines work” and those who have been hospitalized are largely unvaccinated.
Psaki said she wanted to “echo” the former president’s comments, and then encouraged her followers to “go get boosted.”
Trump also said he received a booster shot earlier this week while speaking at an event in Dallas, which led to a small portion of the crowd booing, which Trump denounced.
Trump has often said one of his major achievements as president was Operation Warp Speed’s quick support for the development and rollout of Covid-19 vaccines. In the interview with Owens, Trump took the credit himself, saying “I came up with a vaccine” in less than nine months, when it was “supposed to take five to 12 years.” Critics have said that with his mixed messaging – he declined to reveal until months after he left office that he’d been vaccinated and waffled publicly on whether he would get a booster shot – hasn’t done enough to convince his supporters to get the vaccine themselves.