On Thursday, Forbes reported that three former presidents — Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama — have all volunteered to champion the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines on TV, even as President Donald Trump does not appear to take seriously his own responsibility to do so.
"Obama told SiriusXM’s Joe Madison that he understands why the African American community in particular would be wary of getting a jab, pointing to the long history of exploitation by medical establishments, such as in the notorious Tuskegee syphilis study," said the report. Meanwhile, "President Bush has reached out to Dr. Anthony Fauci, who heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Deborah Birx, who coordinates the White House Covid-19 task force, to 'gladly' get his vaccine on camera once it is proven safe and given to priority populations," and "President Clinton’s press secretary confirmed that he, too, would take a vaccine when made available to him according to public health priorities, and would be happy to 'do it in a public setting if it will help urge all Americans to do the same.'"
Trump, meanwhile — who for all his desire to take credit for the development of the vaccine, has a history of anti-vaccine rhetoric — has not yet given any indication he will do the same.
"President Trump, with his penchant for peddling falsehoods, has done little to instill public confidence, instead insisting on doing things at 'warp speed' and openly pressuring officials to rush through approvals," said the report. "While Trump seems willing to soak up praise for the speed at which the vaccines have been developed, his three most recent predecessors realize — alongside leaders elsewhere in the world — that the pandemic does not stop at the development of a vaccine, it will stop when enough people have taken the vaccine to interrupt the virus’ spread."