Former President Donald Trump thanked President Joe Biden Tuesday after Biden finally gave the former presidential administration credit for getting vaccines out to the American public quickly.
While giving remarks on the efforts to fight the Omicron variant Biden noted that the U.S. was “one of the first countries to get the vaccine” and thanked “the prior administration and our scientific community.” Biden’s recognition of the prior administration’s accomplishment is a notable moment of unity between the two presidents.
“I’m very appreciative of that — I was surprised to hear it,” Trump said in response. “I think it was a terrific thing, and I think it makes a lot of people happy.”
“I think he did something very good,” Trump added. “You know, it has to be a process of healing in this country, and that will help a lot.”
Biden was referring to the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed, which facilitated the creation of vaccines when the COVID-19 pandemic first began. Up until now, the Biden administration has been reluctant to give Trump credit for COVID-19 vaccines.
The president noted that Trump had gotten the booster shot, telling Americans that it might be “one of the few things he and I agree on.” Trump announced that he’d gotten the booster shot during a live event Sunday with Bill O’Reilly, prompting a few boos from crowd members.
“You have to embrace it,” Trump said about the vaccine. “You don’t have to do it, and there can’t be mandates and all those things, but you have to embrace it.”
“It’s a matter of getting people out to – ideally – get the vaccine. If you have the mandate, the mandate will destroy people’s lives — it destroys people’s lives, just as the vaccine saves people,” he continued.
Trump went on to suggest that convincing people to get the vaccine is “a question of tone” and “trust.” He also gave credit to natural immunity, pointing out that those who have already had COVID-19 may be “in pretty good shape of not getting it again, or getting it in a much lighter way.”