Washington: Former US President Donald Trump on Tuesday (local time) urged his supporters to take the COVID-19 vaccine, as a growing number of Republicans remain opposed to get vaccinated.
In an interview with Fox News, Trump was asked if he would recommend his supporters voluntarily receive the coronavirus vaccine. "I would. I would recommend it and I would recommend it to a lot of people that don't want to get it and a lot of those people voted for me, frankly. But again, we have our freedoms and we have to live by them and I agree with that also. But it is a great vaccine. It is a safe vaccine and it is something that works," he said.
Trump further said that pharmaceutical companies and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have been working "around the clock" to develop the various vaccinations.
During the interview with Fox News, Trump also slammed President Joe Biden on several issues including the border crisis and the hike in gas prices.
According to The Hill, Democrats and Republicans alike have been clamoring for Trump to publicly urge his supporters to get a shot amid surveys showing many Republicans are hesitant to get vaccinated.
Although top GOP leaders, including Senator Mitch McConnell and Representative Kevin McCarthy were vaccinated in December 2020 and have encouraged the public to do the same, a number of high-profile rank-and-file members say they intend to ignore the advice.
A recent poll showed that 47 per cent of the people who voted for former President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential elections have no plan to get vaccinated.
This also comes as the US House of Representatives last week approved the Senate-passed version of Biden's USD 1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, called by him as the 'American Rescue Plan'.
The Trump administration touted the success of its Operation Warp Speed in creating viable vaccines in a number of months, breaking records for the speed at which an inoculation was formed.