Despite the efforts of Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to endorse two vaccines that were rushed to the public to contain the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, the New York Times is reporting that many supporters of the president are balking at the idea of getting it, saying they are still skeptical about the science.
On Friday, Pence along with his wife Karen and Surgeon General Jerome Adams made a great show of receiving the first of the vaccines on national television while the president announced on Twitter the availability of the second vaccine by writing: "Congratulations, the Moderna vaccine is now available!"
However, after months of the president downplaying the COVID-19 health crisis and promoting bogus alternative cures, the president has created great resistance among his followers that has health officials concerned.
As a prime example, the Times interviewed Elizabeth Graves, 50, who lives in Starkville, Mississippi who admits she is a Trump supporter and has no problem with vaccinations in general, yet stated seeing the vice president get vaccinated hasn't changed her mind about avoiding the COVID vaccines.
And she is not alone.
"Lawrence Palmer, 51, a field service engineer in Boiling Springs, Pa., and Brandon Lofgren, 25, who works in his family's trucking and construction business in rural Wisconsin, said they felt the same way. All are fans of Mr. Trump, and echoed Ms. Graves, who said she was 'suspicious' of government and that Mr. Pence's vaccination 'doesn't mean a thing to me,'" the Times reports.
Noting that recent polls show that 71 percent of Americans say they plan to get the vaccine, the report goes on to add that reluctance by some of the president's supporters is going to make stemming the tide of infections very difficult for healthcare officials.
Adding to the problem of getting the president's supporters to sign on is the president's reluctance to go on national TV and get the shot himself.
"Mr. Trump was notably absent," the report states. "One reason for the partisan divide over vaccination, experts said, is the president himself. His repeated denigration of scientists and insistence that the pandemic is not a threat, they said, have contributed to a sense among his followers that the vaccine is either not safe or not worth taking."
According to Matthew Motta, a political scientist at Oklahoma State University, the president is once again hindering stemming the tide of the pandemics spread.
"We need him taking a proactive role," he explained. "The single best person to convince you to change your mind about something is somebody who agrees with you, somebody who you trust on other issues."
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