02/03/2021 08:11 GMT

Donald And Melania Trump Quietly Received COVID-19 Vaccine In January: Reports

Other political leaders have publicised their vaccinations as a way to promote trust in the science.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump quietly received the Covid-19 vaccine at the White House in January, several outlets reported Monday. 

A Trump adviser shared the information with AxiosThe New York Times and CNN. It’s unclear which of the two vaccines approved at the time they received.

Other political leaders have publicised their own vaccinations as a way to encourage all Americans to sign up for the shot when their turn comes. Mass vaccination is the only thing that will get the country out of the coronavirus pandemic, Dr Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Monday. 

Trump’s approach contrasts, in particular, with those of President Joe Biden and other living former presidents who allowed their shots to be broadcast, saying they wanted to promote trust in the process.

Donald and Melania Trump skipped Joe Biden's inauguration but not, as it turns out, the chance to get vaccinated against the coronavirus

The news broke a day after Trump said at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference that “everybody” should get the coronavirus vaccine ― an idea he’s skirted around in the past.

Republicans tend to be more sceptical of the vaccine, according to Civiqs polling, making encouragement from Trump and other right-wing public figures important in the effort to vaccinate the country. Only 33% of unvaccinated Republicans said they planned to get a vaccine when it became available to them, compared to 70% of unvaccinated Democrats.

Many of Trump’s fans, including those at far-right media outlets such as Newsmax, support baseless conspiracy theories about the vaccine, including the false claim that it’s a system for mind control. On Fox News, host Tucker Carlson proclaimed the mere idea of a mandatory vaccination program to be “a legitimate crisis,” even though the Biden administration is not calling for one.