That’s what Dr. Anthony Fauci called the results of a recent poll that found that about half of all Trump supporters do not plan to get the COVID vaccine, while just 10% of Biden supporters would skip vaccination.
Among all adults surveyed, 30% said if the COVID vaccine was made available to them they would not choose to be vaccinated. But 80% of the population needs to be vaccinated in order for herd immunity to set in, a member of the FDA's vaccine advisory committee told NBC News Sunday.
“We’ve got to disassociate political persuasion for what’s common-sense, no-brainer public health things,” said Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Fauci has called on Trump to publicly support the vaccine.
Trump was the only living former president who was not part of a public service announcement encouraging people to get vaccinated. In it, former President George W. Bush said, “It’s important for our fellow citizens to get vaccinated.”
Worcester State political science professor Anthony Dell’Aera said that, while Trump’s public support of vaccines might sway some people, it may not make much of a difference with most Republicans.
“I think it’s that their distrust of government is what is driving the resistance to getting the vaccine,” Dell’Aera said.
Many who have already been vaccinated are equally frustrated with vaccine hesitancy.
“I hope that people will not take it as a political standpoint ... and see the urgency and the need to get vaccinated,” said health care worker Ama Asare of Oxford, Massachusetts.
Priscilla Dand of Dudley, who’s fully vaccinated, said, “I don’t think most Trump supporters probably believe that it’s real, that ... the vaccine’s good or that coronavirus is real.”
But some Trump supporters feel he is being unfairly blamed, especially since his administration was behind Operation Warp Speed, the former name of the federal government's drive to vaccinate the population.
“He’s the one that got the vaccine, he supported it all along, I’m sorry I don’t know where you’re coming from,” said Maureen Brusa of Oxford.
Tom McCrory of Webster said that Trump “gets no credit for anything he does, so even if he came out, the press would come up with an ulterior motive on why he came out.”