Former President Donald J. Trump, who had falsely claimed for years that vaccines were dangerous and refused to appear vaccinated against COVID-19 while in office, said for the first time publicly at an event in Houston that They had received a rocket carrier.
Mr Trump was in Texas on Sunday as part of a speaking tour with author and former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly when Mr O’Reilly said both he and Mr Trump were “discredited”.
Mr. O’Reilly asked again, “Did you get the booster?”
“Yes,” said Mr Trump.
“I got it too,” said Mr. O’Reilly.
Crowds swelled in Houston, according to a video Distributed by one of Mr. O’Reilly’s social media accounts.
“Don’t, don’t, don’t,” Trump said, waving his hand to dismiss opponents and downplaying the size of the response to what he said was “a very small group out there.”
The exchange comes as the fast-spreading Omicron variant sparked a rapid increase in new cases and hospitalizations, with many states mobilizing the National Guard to help with hospital staff shortages. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Omicron is now the leading version of new coronavirus cases in the United States.
People vaccinated without booster shots are believed to be more vulnerable to infection by Omicron, and government officials say a booster is the best response to the new version.
Just before the uproar, Mr Trump said his supporters should get vaccinated because, he suggested, the reluctance to do so represented a victory for the Liberals. “What we have done is historic,” he said of the three COVID vaccines in use in the United States that were developed while in office. “Don’t let them get away, don’t take it away from you. You’re playing right in their hands when you’re like ‘Oh, Vaccine.
He then reiterated his opposition to the vaccine mandate, which has been adopted by the Biden administration, localities across the country and several employers to boost vaccination rates. “You shouldn’t be forced to take it, no mandate. But take credit,” Mr. Trump said.