A few days back, I took on the theory that Donald Trump had a big problem when it came to getting the GOP nomination: MAGA hates the COVID-19 vaccine – Trump’s most significant accomplishment.
As I said at the time:
“I am going to leave the science to the scientists and experts as I am no healthcare professional and I don’t pretend to be.
Looking at the politics of it all, we must be honest. Trump pushed like hell to get a vaccine across the finish line.
In the process, one could make the argument he saved countless lives and did the nation a service in the process.
And while the vaccine was no silver bullet – it did not end the pandemic, and variants have popped up – clearly, Donald Trump had the right idea on how to tackle COVID-19.
And for all of that, he should get every American’s praise. He did the right thing when many thought it was possible.
Was his COVID-19 strategy perfect? No way. I won’t ever forget his infamous ride in the presidential limo when he was sick with COVID-19 and had secret service agents in the car with him.
I mean, really? That’s not presidential.
Nonetheless, many on the right and in hardcore MAGA land fear all things COVID-19 vaccine.
Again, I will not touch the science on this at all. Let the experts debate and explain the effectiveness and side effects of the vaccine – heck, you and your doctor need to work that debate out. That is not for me or anyone else to comment on. I am vaccinated and boosted, but I respect your right to not only what you put in your body but personal choice.
The challenge, however, for Trump is pretty easy to see: how does he brag about his most significant accomplishment when a good junk of his base is against his vaccine in the first place?”
And it seems the NY Post (Disclaimer: I do write for them a fair amount) has the same idea:
“Florida Man has hit a truly pathetic new low.
President Donald Trump is effectively disavowing his own vaccine fast-tracking effort Operation Warp Speed — a miraculous success, by any reasonable standard — in order to play to the more deranged segment of his voter base and attack likely 2024 GOP rival Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“The real Ron is a RINO GLOBALIST,” he blared on Truth Social Wednesday, one who “Loved the Vaccines.”
The same vaccines, in other words, that Team Trump fought to have developed and produced in record time, against jeers from his opponents and general incredulity. The same vaccines that, when Trump delivered on his promise, saved countless lives.
That’s what Trump is willing to discard in his pursuit of power. And no method is too tone-deaf or stupid, as usual: His allies are reportedly creating an “oppo file” on DeSantis that includes footage of him praising the vaccines and even — gasp! — helping old people get vaccinated.”
This is going to be a problem. Oh, what will Donald Trump do? I will have the popcorn ready for this one.
You know, in the GOP primary debates, he will get rocked hard on this.
About the Author: Harry J. Kazianis (@Grecianformula) serves as President and CEO of Rogue States Project, a bipartisan national security think tank. He has held senior positions at the Center for the National Interest, the Heritage Foundation, the Potomac Foundation, and many other think tanks and academic institutions focused on defense issues. He served on the Russia task force for U.S. Presidential Candidate Senator Ted Cruz, and in a similar task force in the John Hay Initiative. His ideas have been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, CNN, CNBC, and many other outlets across the political spectrum. He holds a graduate degree in International Relations from Harvard University and is the author of The Tao of A2/AD, a study of Chinese military modernization. Kazianis also has a background in defense journalism, having served as Editor-In-Chief at The Diplomat and Executive Editor for the National Interest.