Trump Administration’s Covid-19 Czar Urges Trump, Pence to Encourage Vaccinations

Admiral Brett Giroir, the Trump administration’s Covid-19 czar, is urging former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence to encourage more Americans to get vaccinated as the country embarks on the largest vaccination campaign in its history.

“I think it’s very important for former President Trump as well as the vice president, to actively encourage all the followers to get the vaccine,” he told CNN‘s Jake Tapper on “The Lead.” Tapper had asked Giroir to respond to a recent poll that found 46% of Republicans said they would not try to get vaccinated.

“This is something that the Trump administration developed under its time,” Giroir said. “And I think all of the above, including the former president, speaking out, would be very important.”

Giroir also commented on the news that Trump was vaccinated ahead of leaving the White House after months of downplaying the severity of the pandemic (and even after surviving his own bout with Covid-19). He said he did not know Trump had been vaccinated “until I heard it as it was reported in the news.”

“But I think the point now is, and I think this is where we are, that we all have to get together and urge every American,” he continued. “The people who follow our former President are very committed to President Trump, and I think his leadership still matters a great deal, and I think we have to do a better job reaching the minority underserved communities that have been so disproportionately affected.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, 109 million vaccinations have already been administered, with 38,335,432 Americans already fully vaccinated. That means 11.5% of the entire population has already been vaccinated, a significant feat after a slow rollout in the final month of the Trump administration.

More than 535,000 Americans have died of Covid-19 since the pandemic began. Trump was harshly criticized for not taking the pandemic seriously and for insisting, without evidence, that it would soon be over, decisions that ultimately contributed to him losing the 2020 general election.