(NEW YORK) — Former President Donald Trump revealed he received a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, drawing boos from a crowd in Dallas.
Trump made the disclosure Sunday night during the final stop of “The History Tour,” a live interview show he has been doing with former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly.
“Both the president and I are vaxxed,” O’Reilly said at the American Airlines Center, drawing some jeers from the audience, according to video shared online by O’Reilly’s “No Spin News.”
“Did you get the booster?” he asked the former president. “Yes,” Trump responded. “I got it, too,” O’Reilly said, eliciting more hectoring.
“Don’t! Don’t! Don’t! Don’t! Don’t!” Trump told the crowd, waving off their reaction with his hand.
Trump is opposed to mandated vaccines. However, he takes credit for all vaccines created under his direction. He also has not encouraged his supporters, though he is less likely than Democrats, to recommend them.
For instance, while other world leaders, including former Vice President Mike Pence, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, received their doses publicly to promote the lifesaving medicine, Trump chose to receive his in private — an acknowledgement of the unpopularity of the vaccine with large swaths of his base. While he blames the Biden Administration for the high level of vaccine skepticalism, Trump repeatedly undermined public safety recommendations during his term. He encouraged the use of unproven therapies and played down the danger the virus presented as he sought to prioritize economic recovery and ensure a second term.
Trump had told the Wall Street Journal in a September interview that he “probably” wouldn’t get a booster shot.
“I feel like I’m in good shape from that standpoint,” he told the paper. “I’ll look at stuff later on. I’m not against it, but it’s probably not for me.”
As the United States faces an increase in highly contagious Omicron strains, the U.S. is urging eligible Americans to obtain booster shots quickly. Moderna as well as Pfizer claim that their COVID-19 booster vaccines provide protection from the new strain. Initial evidence suggests it can evade vaccines better than other versions.
Trump, who was suffering from COVID-19, was admitted to hospital in October 2020. This occurred weeks before the election. He also received monoclonal antibody treatment. In a book published this month, Mark Meadows who was Trump’s former chief of staff revealed that Trump had a far worse condition than what the White House reported at the time.
Before the booing, Trump on Sunday told the audience that they should “take credit” for the success of the vaccines developed while he was in office.
“Look, we did something that was historic. Our efforts saved the lives of tens and millions worldwide. We together, all of us — not me, we — we got a vaccine done, three vaccines done, and tremendous therapeutics” Trump said. “This was going to ravage the country far beyond what it is right now. Give credit. Take credit for it…. Don’t let them take it away. Don’t take it away from ourselves.”
“You’re playing right into their hands when you sort of like, ‘Oh the vaccine,’” he added. “If you don’t want to take it, you shouldn’t be forced to take it. No mandates,” he said, drawing cheers. “But take credit because we saved tens of millions of lives. Give credit. Don’t let them take that away from you.”
Trump’s aides didn’t immediately reply to Monday’s request for comment.