'Good for him': White House keeps Trump at arm's length in COVID-19 vaccine push
The White House isn't asking former President Donald Trump to help get vaccines up the gun as it faces a surge in COVID-19 cases across the country, including states where Trump allies said that he could help.
While South Carolina press secretary Jen Psaki endorsed Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican and Trump ally, for his advocacy, the White House has been less interested in hugging the former president himself.
“The former president said he got the vaccine. He said people should get it. And if he wants that more, then it's good for him. That's good, ”Psaki told reporters on Thursday.
"This is neither political nor should it be political to us and certainly Senator Graham has a constituency and we think it's great that he's out there talking about the effects of the vaccine when we wish him a speedy recovery," she said .
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With a rapid surge in new cases, the White House has recently increased criticism of Republican leaders who have eased COVID-19 restrictions while praising others.
"The majority of Republican governors are doing just the right thing in their states ... either working with the federal government on resources we can provide, promoting vaccinations, or encouraging masking," said Psaki.
Her remarks come after President Joe Biden this week accused Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, of "getting in the way" of federal government efforts.
"What we've seen in poll after poll is that the most trustworthy voices are people in communities, not necessarily elected officials. I'm vaccinated," said Psaki.
Psaki was named after Biden's chief physician, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who praised the Trump administration's vaccine push during the coronavirus pandemic.
"We give credit to the Trump administration" for Operation Warp Speed, which led to the development of COVID-19 vaccines, Fauci said Thursday.
The experienced health officer has often credited the effort. To increase vaccination rates, Republican Senator from Alabama Tommy Tuberville said Fauci should make the connection with Trump clearer.
Psaki said Biden has often advertised efforts to develop the shot under Trump.
"Not only did the president talk about the last administration's role in approving the vaccine during the transition, but he spoke about it just last week," she said. “I wouldn't say we shy away from talking about the fact that it was a vaccine that was approved during some of the vaccines, I should say, during a Republican government and implementation, an attempt to get it get the arms of the people during a democratic government. "
Both Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were vaccinated shortly after the shots became available. But everyone also cast doubts about the speed of vaccine development under Trump, highlighting a concern that has become a sticking point among vaccine skeptics.
In an interview last year, Biden pointed out "the tremendous pressure exerted on the FDA by former officials" to speed up vaccine availability and wondered aloud at the dangers of being in the first place.
“If God willing we finally get a vaccine, who will take the injection? Who will shoot? Will you be the first to say, "Let me - sign me up, now they say it's okay"? I'm not kidding, ”said the President.
During a vice presidential debate, Harris was asked if she would receive a pre-election vaccine. She replied, "If Donald Trump tells us to take it, I won't take it."
Although it is still a relatively bright spot for the president, recent polls show that voters are increasingly critical of Biden's handling of the pandemic.
A CNBC poll released this week found that Biden's approval rating for his handling of the coronavirus fell nine percentage points, from 62% in April to 53%.
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A Quinnipiac poll on Wednesday showed 53% of people approved of Biden's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, up from 65% in May.
Biden's general approval ratings show less movement. According to a CNBC poll, the president has 48% approval, up 1 point from the first quarter. However, its rejection rates rose from 41% to 45%. In Quinnipiac's poll, Biden is 46%, down from 49% in May, while his disapproval rating rose from 41% to 43%.
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Tags: News, Biden Administration, White House, Joe Biden, Donald Trump, Delta Variant, Coronavirus, Vaccination
Original Author: Katherine Doyle
Original location: "Good for him": The White House keeps Trump at a distance in the COVID-19 vaccine push
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45th President of the United States
American political advisor and White House press secretary
46th and current President of the United States
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