Admiral Brett Giroir, former coronavirus testing czar under President Trump, told CNN that former President Donald Trump getting vaccinated on television could have helped the vaccination effort.
Trump has a “very large and loyal followership,” Giroir said on New Day Wednesday, adding that anything Trump did or can do, including getting vaccinated on television, could be important.
“I get very nervous about, even a President, during medical procedures, doing that in public, I think we need to respect some of that privacy,” Giroir said. “But yes, I think President Trump has come out in favor of vaccines, anything he could do to support that would be very well received and important at this critical time.”
Asked again by Berman whether Trump getting his Covid-19 shot on television could have made a difference, Giroir said “I think I answered the question and that is yes, anything President Trump could have done or can do could be important and I think it might have been helpful. But you know, these are personal medical decisions, and you remember the time, it was quite a divisive time, so it’s hard to go back and turn those pages.”
Giroir said he believes “we did try to do everything we could on vaccine hesitancy, and we often did not get the cooperation of national media when we did that.”
On Tuesday, Alex Azar, former US Secretary of Health and Human Services under Trump, penned an opinion essay in the New York Times, writing “I’m glad former President Trump got vaccinated, but it would have been even better for him to have done so on national television so that his supporters could see how much trust and confidence he has in what is arguably one of his greatest accomplishments.”
In the interview on New Day, Giroir said all US presidents, current and former, need to set the best example they can when it comes to the coronavirus.
“Obviously, President Obama is an important national leader, and we really need all our presidents, current and former, to set as best of an example as possible,” Giroir said, when asked about former president Obama’s decision to scale back his birthday celebrations. “Our hospitalizations and cases are higher this year than they were last year at this time, which is almost hard to believe, but the Delta variant is serious. And if President Obama is scaling back, I think that’s an important message and very good leadership for the country.”