Donald Trump proclaimed COVID-19 vaccines. It did not fall into good soil with some followers

“Oh no, the vaccine works,” interrupted Mr. Trump Owens, who said she was not vaccinated.

“Those who get very sick and go to the hospital are the ones who do not take the vaccine.”

While Trump in both cases stressed that he is against Democratic President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandates, his comments have spawned rare criticism from anti-vaccine activists and some supporters.

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The controversy highlights the balance sheet that Mr Trump may face in a potential presidential candidacy in 2024: he will have to give energy to his base, for many of them, opposition to vaccines has become a cry, without rejecting moderate suburbs.

Conspiracy theorist and radio host Alex Jones said in his talk show that by proclaiming the vaccine, Mr Trump was either “completely ignorant” or “one of the most evil men who ever lived.”

He said it was time to “move on” from Mr Trump and also threatened to “fix all the dirt” on the former president.

Radio host Wayne Allyn Root, a staunch Trump supporter, said the former president was “right in everything” except the vaccines and needed an “intervention.”

In a statement to Reuters, Root stressed that he would always be a Trump supporter and that by “intervention” he simply meant a chance to convince Trump to “change” his message.

A spokesman told Reuters that Trump stands by his administration’s “huge contribution to ending this pandemic”.

There was no immediate response to requests for comment from representatives of Jones or Owens.

On right-wing social media groups, some Trump voters claimed he was acting strategically to keep enemy media at bay.

Former United States President Donald Trump.

Source: AAP

Others, however, declared dismay.

“I can no longer support him,” Daniel McLean, 42, who works in the cannabis industry in Oregon, said in an interview.

McLean said he had steadily been disappointed by what he sees as Mr Trump’s embrace of the political establishment. The pro-vaccine comments were a turning point, added McLean, who said he was not vaccinated and repeatedly refuted theories about thousands of people dying from the shots.

Republicans and Republican independents account for 60 percent of unvaccinated adult Americans, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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That makes Mr. Trump’s comments even more surprising, said Republican Martin Hyde, who is running as a challenger to Florida Congressman Vern Buchanan in the 2022 election.

“I do not think it is a message that will resonate with the base,” Mr Hyde told Reuters.

Trump continues to have an almost ironic grip on Republican voters.

Candidates for the 2022 midterm elections are vying for his endorsement; he is the clear favorite for the 2024 presidential election; and he is preparing to launch a social media that has reportedly made deals to raise around AUD 1.4 billion.

There is no poll yet to determine whether Trump’s vaccine comments have hurt his position at the base.

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