Recently, former President Trump made some “controversial” remarks on the COVID vaccine. In an interview with Candace Owens, he called it a great achievement and stated that he received the booster shot.
While I don’t see anything wrong with his remarks, as Trump has always favored the vaccine and been against mandates, his commentary has caused some hard-core Trumpers to criticize him publicly. His comments even led the left-leaning news outlet CNN to praise him.
For example, ex-police officer Brandon Tatum, who has a large following on Youtube and has previously supported Trump, stated in one of his recent videos that he may not vote for Trump again if he runs in 2024 due to Trump’s support of the vaccine.
To provide some context, in May 2020, the Trump Administration initiated Operation Warp Speed, a massive government project in the hope of quickly developing a safe vaccine to contain the spread of the virus, which was new and fearsome at that time. Compared to previous vaccinations, which have required at least a decade to be fully developed, it is fair to conclude the rapid development of the COVID vaccine was indeed an incredible achievement. Furthermore, experimental stats and the curve do reveal that the vaccines have had high efficacy in preventing severe illness and death, at least against the original strain.
Therefore, if you’re familiar with Trump’s public bravado, it shouldn’t be surprising that he loves to brag about his achievements, whether it be on Twitter, during campaign rallies, through press releases, and now for his support of “his” vaccine.
Many people still argue that this vaccine was designed in a rush and not enough testing has been done, raising side effect concerns, which is potentially a valid critique. Some also worry about big pharma becoming too powerful as many federal and local authorities mandate their products. Recently, many studies suggest that the vaccine’s efficacy dropped significantly against the new Omicron variant. That is the reason why many conservatives, Trump and myself included, believe that the vaccine should not be mandated by the government, as opposed to what some Democrat officials are promoting. Taking the COVID vaccine should be a personal choice, and no one deserves to be disadvantaged for their personal medical decision.
For those turning against Trump for what he said, there is absolutely no point in holding disdain for the man over the vaccine itself. Disdain should be held for actions like the New York Governor announcing that all SUNY students must receive the booster before returning to campus in response to the Omicron surge (which has proven to have much milder symptoms and lower death rates). Many collegiate authorities are expected to follow suit; the vaccine mandates, rather than the vaccine itself, is where we conservatives should focus our fire.