The Slatest

Fauci Was “Stunned” When Supporters Booed Trump for Getting Booster Shot

Fauci gestures with both hands as he speaks at a podium in the White House press briefing room
Dr. Anthony Fauci at the White House on Dec. 1. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, said he was “stunned” and “dismayed” by the way supporters of Donald Trump booed the former president when he revealed he had received a COVID-19 booster shot. Trump said during a live appearance in Dallas alongside former Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly earlier this month that he had received the booster, and the crowd responded with boos. O’Reilly also revealed he got the booster shot. “I was stunned by that,” Fauci said on ABC’s This Week. “I mean, given the fact of how popular he is with that group, that they would boo him, which tells me how recalcitrant they are about being told what they should do.”

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O’Reilly later revealed that Trump wasn’t happy with the reaction from the audience and claimed he had to console the former president. Even if he was shocked by the reaction, though, that didn’t stop Trump from continuing to advocate for the vaccines. Many of Trump’s supporters are still reeling from an interview days later with Candace Owens in which Trump pushed back against the right-wing pundit’s stance against the COVID-19 vaccines. “The results of the vaccine are very good,” Trump said. “People aren’t dying when they take the vaccine.”

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Fauci celebrated Trump’s pro-vaccine comments, saying it could help convince people to get the shot. “We’ll take anything we can get about getting people vaccinated,” Fauci said. The nation’s top infectious disease specialist added that he hopes it isn’t a temporary turn for the former president. “I think that his continuing to say that people should get vaccinated and articulating that to them, in my mind, is a good thing,” Fauci added. “I hope he keeps it up.”

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During the interview, Fauci also acknowledged the government “obviously” needed to “do better” regarding getting at-home COVID-19 tests to people across the country. “I mean, I think things will improve greatly as we get into January, but that doesn’t help us today and tomorrow,“ he said. Fauci also warned against thinking that the apparently lower severity of the omicron variant means people don’t have to worry as much about the coronavirus. “The issue that we don’t want to get complacent about, Jon, is that when you have such a high volume of new infections, it might override a real diminution in severity. So that if you have many, many, many more people with a less level of severity, that might kind of neutralize the positive effect of having less severity when you have so many more people,” Fauci said.

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