Trump tells Fox News that people should get the vaccine — but his supporters still refuse
Donald Trump (AFP)

On Fox News Tuesday night, during former President Donald Trump's phone interview with Maria Bartiromo, the topic turned to the COVID-19 vaccination effort.

Although Trump hedged somewhat on the issue, saying that "we have our freedoms, and we have to live by that," he also urged Americans to get the shot and protect themselves from the pandemic.

However, this plea did not sit well with many Trump supporters, some of whom made their displeasure and distrust of the vaccine clear on Facebook.

"Love Trump. Don't support him on this and never will," said the account of a man identified as "Christopher Pistorio." "Doesn't detract from my support for him, but it's a big no from me."

"As a healthcare provider, this is the ONE thing I disagree with President Trump on," said another account, "Raynell Rodgers Odom," who went on to falsely add, "The is [sic] not a vaccine. It doesn't prevent anything and we have no long-term safety studies." Another person identified as "Janice Gray Neace," added, "This vaccine will be a killer, but i (sic) don't blame him he was trying to help."

While trust in the vaccine has risen in recent months, many Trump supporters stubbornly refuse to be vaccinated — a recent poll found 49 percent of Republican men will not take it.

Trump himself has been a longtime font of "anti-vaxxer" conspiracy theories, falsely linking vaccines to autism. And although he now endorses the COVID-19 shot, he spent many months downplaying the danger of the virus itself, comparing it to the flu, insisting it would go away on its own, and taking a hostile attitude towards public health officials pushing safety precautions. Some of Trump's promoters in the media, like Fox News' Tucker Carlson, have also been spreading anti-vaccine paranoia.