Claim: CNN and The New York Times reported that Former President Donald Trump and former first lady Melania Trump received the COVID-19 vaccine at the White House in January 2021. But Trump has not confirmed publicly whether or not he’s received the vaccine.
Rating: The claim that Trump received the vaccine is TRUE. Fox News has also confirmed that Trump was vaccinated. In an interview with Fox, Trump said he would recommend people get the COVID-19 vaccine. “I would recommend it to a lot of people that don’t want to get it and a lot of those people voted for me, frankly,” he said. “It is a great vaccine. It is a safe vaccine and it is something that works.”
As of March 2, 2021, the type of vaccine administered (whether it was the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, both authorized by the Food and Drug Administration at the time) and the number of doses are not specified.
Around October 2020, Donald Trump and then First Lady Melania tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Trump’s infection reached a severity–“with extremely depressed blood oxygen levels at one point and a lung problem associated with pneumonia caused by the coronavirus”–that required him to be hospitalized at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, according to the New York Times.
That Trump and Melania received the COVID-19 vaccine at least two months after their infection is demonstrative of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation that people who already underwent COVID-19 infection should still vaccinate themselves since reinfections have been reported–“experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19.”
At the Conservative Political Action Conference on Feb. 28, 2021, the day before it was reported he was vaccinated, Trump declared, “Everybody go get your shot.” He also touted credit for the development of the vaccine under his administration: “I handed the new [Biden] administration what everyone is now calling a modern day medical miracle.”
Trump has been trying to take credit for both the Moderna and the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines. While Trump’s Operation Warp Speed helped fund the development of the Moderna vaccine, the federal government under Trump did not fund the development of the Pfizer vaccine. Operation Warp Speed only provided funds to manufacture and deliver Pfizer doses.
On March 16, in an interview with Fox News, Trump encouraged Americans to get vaccinated. “I would recommend it and I would recommend it to a lot of people that don’t want to get it and a lot of those people voted for me, frankly,” he said. “It is a great vaccine. It is a safe vaccine and it is something that works.”
Fox News also reported that Trump was vaccinated.
Trump is not the only public official who has been vaccinated. Notable Republicans that have been vaccinated include former vice president Mike Pence, Senator Lindsey Graham, and Senator Marco Rubio. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have also been vaccinated.
According to Doug Heye, a veteran GOP communications advisor, “The image of himself and Melania Trump getting the vaccine would have sent an important symbol, especially to any members of his base who might be skeptical of the vaccine.” A survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation indicated that Republicans were the most likely to be hesitant, with 42% “saying they would probably not or definitely not be vaccinated.”