MAGA World is full of anti-vaxxers who refuse to take the COVID vaccine — but want Trump to get credit for it

MAGA World is full of anti-vaxxers who refuse to take the COVID vaccine — but want Trump to get credit for it
The 47th Medical Operations Squadron immunization flight is scheduled to have their first batches of the flu vaccine ready by late October 2017. Initial batches are disseminated to individuals who are deploying, high risk for illness, or emergency personnel first, followed by the entire base once more vaccines arrive. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Areca T. Wilson)
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Many diehard supporters of the President Donald Trump are not only coronavirus deniers — they are also anti-vaxxers. But journalist Tina Nguyen, in an article published by Politico on December 16, discusses a strange trend: pro-Trump anti-vaxxers who have no desire to take a COVID-19 vaccine but want the outgoing president to receive the credit for it.

Nguyen explains, "Across the far-right, and especially in the conspiratorial corners of MAGA World, Trump's supporters are finding novel ways to both lavish the president with praise for speeding a COVID vaccine, while arguing against taking the vaccine itself."

The Politico journalist elaborates, "some explanations focus on limiting vaccinations — only high-risk individuals and health care workers should get it, while the rest should simply resume our pre-pandemic lives. Others are reflexively anti-establishment — a vaccine is needed, but the government shouldn't dictate what we put in our bodies. Others are fantastical — the vaccine is somehow part of an elitist conspiracy to control the world. And increasingly, the loudest anti-vaccine advocates are high-profile MAGA supporters."

Trump supporters who are also anti-vaxxers, Nguyen notes, range from Infowars' DeAnna Lorraine to writers for the Gateway Pundit. Lorraine recently told Infowars listeners, "You know, Trump, probably 80% of your base does not want that vaccine. They are not willing to take a foreign, rushed substance and jab it into our arms. I don't care who takes it. I don't care if Jesus takes it, I'm not taking the vaccine."

Far-right pundit Allie Beth Stuckey recently tweeted, "Tell me how Voter ID is oppressive but a COVID vaccine ID that grants you access to certain spaces isn't."

Trump himself has expressed anti-vaxxer views despite the fact that for political reasons, he tried to pressure the Food and Drug Administration into approving a vaccine before the 2020 election. In 2015, Trump told Opie Radio that he had never even received a flu shot, saying, "I don't like the idea of injecting bad stuff into your body, which is basically what they do."

According to Nguyen, "MAGA World's vaccine resistance is a more hard-edged version of a broader wariness among Republicans. A poll released Tuesday from the Kaiser Family Foundation — as people started receiving the first shots across the nation — showed vaccine hesitancy was highest among Republicans, at 42%, compared with just 12% among Democrats. Overall, 71% of respondents said they would probably get the vaccine. Medical officials have said 70-80% of Americans need the shot to achieve herd immunity."

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