During his time in the White House, former President Donald Trump repeatedly embraced disinformation regarding the virus that's killed over 600 thousand Americans.
He frequently dismissed the severity of the virus, promoted bogus "cures" like hydroxychloroquine and disinfectant, and promoted junk science claiming masks do nothing to slow the spread of the virus.
Toward the end of Trump's term, the first doses lifesaving vaccines began being administered. The former President and First Lady received their vaccines in private, though Trump frequently boasted that they were created under his watch.
But in the months since Trump left office, right wing media personalities and even some elected officials have promoted deranged anti-vaccination conspiracy theories, once again politicizing lifesaving measures in the face of a deadly pandemic.
Not only have delusions about microchips and magnets in the vaccine run rampant through right-wing circles, but any effort encouraging the public to take the vaccine—such as the Biden administration's recruitment of door-to-door volunteers providing information—have been compared to historical atrocities.
Now, even Trump's endorsement of the vaccine isn't enough to convince the conspiracy theorists, according to a recent moment from the former President's rally in Cullman, Alabama this past weekend.
Trump advises his audience in Alabama to take the Covid vaccine pic.twitter.com/aaxQfnnxoh
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 22, 2021
Trump told the crowd:
"I believe totally in your freedoms, I do, you gotta do what you have to do. But, I recommend take the vaccines! I did it! It's good!"
The suggestion was met with boos from the crowd, which further prompted Trump to emphasize the personal freedoms of Americans not to take the vaccine.
His disinformation had gotten away from him.
My biggest takeaway from this clip is just how much even Trump himself is fenced in by Trumpism. https://t.co/3g06Q90RkP— Joshua Eaton (@Joshua Eaton) 1629663896.0
This is the problem when courting extremist behaviour, it’s very easy to lose control… https://t.co/65PmfRAQQE— 🏳️🌈✨Cody✨🏳️⚧️ (@🏳️🌈✨Cody✨🏳️⚧️) 1629652433.0
If their god emperor can’t even convince them, they are completely lost https://t.co/E2oeEA8tc4— Brett Kamann (@Brett Kamann) 1629599357.0
At his rally in Alabama on Saturday night, Trump tells the crowd to "take the vaccines" and promptly gets booed.… https://t.co/Sbn3BizGmh— Bryan Schott (@Bryan Schott) 1629642803.0
Some thought Trump's emphasis on "freedoms" not to take the vaccine undermined the urgency with which people need to take the vaccines, especially in Alabama where less than 40 percent of people are vaccinated and cases are skyrocketing again.
Trump tells the crowd to take the vaccine but then says “you have your freedoms”. Always the mixed message. https://t.co/XENaqzIq38— Jonathan Reiner (@Jonathan Reiner) 1629599696.0
Trump prefaced this statement and followed it up by emphasizing that people have the “freedom” to choose whether or… https://t.co/JLibWh6FlJ— Caroline Orr Bueno, Ph.D (@Caroline Orr Bueno, Ph.D) 1629611104.0
On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced full approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which is expected to prompt a massive uptick in vaccination requirements across the country.