(WJZY/WGHP) — There’s a new, outspoken, unlikely advocate for COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots. Former President Donald Trump has repeatedly encouraged the use of vaccines, along with taking credit for their creation, in multiple interviews in recent days.
The new tone from the former President has put him at odds with some of his most fervent supporters.
On Sunday, during an event with former Fox News Channel host Bill O’Reilly, Mr. Trump told the host he had received his booster shot. A few members of the crowd then booed, but the former President tried to brush off the naysayers.
“Don’t, don’t, don’t,” the former President told the crowd.
This week, O’Reilly appeared on NewsNation to defend the former President.
“I said this is good for you. This is good that people see another side of you. Not a political side. You told the truth,” O’Reilly told host Dan Abrams. “You believe in the vax, your administration did it. And you should take credit for it.”
On Wednesday, Mr. Trump told conservative host Candace Owens that the COVID-19 vaccines are “one of the greatest achievements of mankind.”
In North Carolina’s Piedmont Triad, Forsyth and Guilford counties were the only two counties where fewer than 50% of voters voted for then-President Donald Trump in the 2020 Presidential Election. Those same two counties are the only two beating the state’s percentage of residents with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The interactive maps below show that this trend goes beyond the Triad.
In the map of the 2020 Presidential Election, counties are more red where more than 50% of voters voted for Trump. Counties are more blue where fewer than 50% voted for Trump.
In the vaccination map, counties are compared to the state as a whole. About 62% of North Carolinians have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine; counties above this number are shown as more blue and counties below are shown as more red.
Outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said she’s optimistic that vaccine skeptics can be convinced to get a shot.
“I am never giving up,” said Cohen. “What I have been saying is every day we have new data of the safety of these vaccines. As well as the effectiveness of preventing someone from getting hospitalized or dying.”