But Mr. Trump was notably absent. According to experts, one of the reasons for the partisan division over vaccination is the president himself. His repeated denigration of scientists and his insistence that the pandemic is not a threat, they said, have helped his supporters believe that the vaccine is not safe or worth the trouble of. To be taken.
“I just don’t think there’s been enough research on this. I think it accelerated too quickly, ”said Mark Davis, 42, a disabled worker from Michigan. “You don’t even really know the side effects, what is in it.”
Mr. Lofgren agreed. “The jury is out on whether this will work,” he said, despite studies showing the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to be over 94% effective.
Experts say “herd immunity” – the point to which so many people are immune that the spread of a virus is diminished – can be achieved when about 75 percent of the population is vaccinated. As the Trump administration rolls out a public relations campaign to encourage people to get vaccinated, the reluctance of even a minority of Republicans is deeply troubling to public health experts.
Mr. Trump was quick to claim credit for manufacturing and distributing the vaccine. “The distribution must begin immediately,” he said on Friday. on Twitter, a day after an FDA expert advisory panel recommended approval of Moderna’s vaccine.
Although the president has recovered from Covid-19, he remains vulnerable to reinfection. Dr Anthony S. Fauci, the government‘s top infectious disease specialist, recommended that Mr Trump be vaccinated. But he gave no indication that he actually would, and he said little, if anything, to encourage Americans to get vaccinated.
“We need him to play a proactive role,” said Matthew Motta, a political scientist at Oklahoma State University who studies vaccine policy and opinion, adding, “The best person to convince you to change your mind about something is someone who agrees with you. , someone you trust on other matters.