During an exclusive interview with Fox News Digital, Trump reacted to President Biden’s executive order last week, mandating employers with more than 100 workers to require coronavirus vaccinations or test employees weekly. Biden also announced that all employees of the federal government would be required to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
"It shouldn’t be necessary," Trump said, referring to the mandates which have drawn criticism from Republicans and some in the private sector.
The Trump administration created Operation Warp Speed, a public-private partnership to create vaccines against the novel coronavirus, as the pandemic raged in 2020. Under his administration, the Food and Drug Administration approved emergency use authorizations (EUA) for the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.
Trump, in December 2020, signed an executive order that would ensure all Americans had access to coronavirus vaccines before the U.S. government could begin aiding nations around the world.
Trump, in the exclusive Fox News interview, said that during his administration, more people were interested in getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
"If you remember, when I was president, there were literally lines of people wanting to take it," Trump said, pointing to vaccine hesitancy among some Americans. "Now, you have a different situation, and it’s very bad."
Trump went on to point to comments made by some Democrats, including future Vice President Kamala Harris, who said they may not trust the effectiveness of a vaccine that he was pushing.
"Of course, they famously said, if Trump came up with it, I’ll never take it," Trump recalled.
"They disparaged the vaccine, and now they wonder why people aren’t wanting to take it?" He continued. "It’s a disgrace."
"Look, it was one of my greatest achievements doing it in less than nine months instead of five years, or maybe never," Trump said, referring to the approval timeline for some vaccines at the FDA. "We saved millions of people all over the world."
But pointing back to those against getting a jab, Trump said: "They don’t trust this president, and that’s why they’re not taking it."
Trump and former first lady Melania Trump received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in January at the White House. It is unclear which vaccine they received. Trump talked up the vaccines' benefits in an interview with Fox News' Greg Gutfeld last week, saying infections among the vaccinated were less severe compared to the unvaccinated at the start of the pandemic: "If you do get sick, you don’t get sick like they were before, meaning you don’t die."
The Biden administration has made a significant push in promoting COVID-19 vaccines, launching door-to-door efforts over the summer, to help communities receive information and resources regarding how and when they could receive their doses.
The Biden administration, in July, also sought to incentivize Americans by urging state and local governments to use coronavirus relief funds to pay citizens $100 each to get vaccinated.
The proposals came amid concerns over breakthrough cases, infections among vaccinated individuals, and the strengthening delta variant became prominent in communities across the country.
Meanwhile, with COVID-19 cases on the rise again in the U.S., health officials are urging the public to vaccinate themselves against the deadly disease, warning that the overwhelming majority of deaths and hospitalizations from the delta variant continue to be among unvaccinated Americans.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 178 million people in the United States have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.