During a portion of an interview with the Fox News Channel that took place on Monday and was aired on Tuesday’s broadcast of “Special Report,” 2024 Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump stated that while “there are people that say I saved 100 million lives” with the coronavirus vaccine, “I really don’t want to talk about it, because, as a Republican, it’s not a great thing to talk about, because, for some reason, it’s just not.” And that he does oppose mandates, but left the matter up to state governors. Trump also said that his 2024 rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) pushed the vaccine before turning against it.
Host Bret Baier asked, [relevant exchange begins around 8:40] “In your mind, did the COVID vaccine work?”
Trump responded, “It’s such an interesting question. Because, not only that, I also did the Regenerons of the world. … But we had a vaccine. Now you have difference, you have different COVIDs. You had COVID-19 and then you have different COVIDs. … So, I have a Democrat friend, who’s very smart, hopefully, he votes for me, but he’s very smart, he said, I don’t understand one thing about you. I watch your rallies. … I’ve never heard you talk about how — the incredible job you did with the vaccines, because, as you know, I got them done in nine months and it was supposed to take anywhere from 5-12 years. I broke their ass, okay? And do you know who doesn’t like me too much? The FDA, because they were very bureaucratic and I got it done. And he said, you may have saved, in the world, throughout the world, 100 million people and you never talk about it. I said, I really don’t want to talk about it, because, as a Republican, it’s not a great thing to talk about, because, for some reason, it’s just not.”
He added, “Because people love the vaccines and people hate the vaccines. But conservatives aren’t — and I understand both sides of it by the way. I understand both sides very well. What I didn’t do is the mandates. The mandates and the vaccines don’t go. And you had these governors mandate it. … Ron [DeSantis] had lines of people trying to get the vaccine. He set up whole things.”
Trump further stated, “But really, on the vaccines, I let the governors make their decisions. But you have a lot of people that love the vaccines, I mean, you do. They happen to be more Democrat than they are Republican. You have a lot of people, there are people that say I saved 100 million lives. I don’t even talk about it.”
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