Donald Trump, Franklin Graham Urge Americans To Get Vaccinated Against COVID

President Trump addressing his remarks on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020 in the East Room of the White House, in response to being acquitted of two Impeachment charges.
President Trump addressing his remarks on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020 in the East Room of the White House, in response to being acquitted of two Impeachment charges. |

Former President Donald J. Trump and Rev. Franklin Graham both endorse vaccination as a way to stay protected from the COVID-19 virus.

Amid growing hesitancy and concerns over the efficacy of the vaccine where 1 in 3 American adults said they won't get the shot, former President Donald Trump urges his followers to have it.

"I would recommend it, and I would recommend it to a lot of people that don't want to get it, and a lot of those people voted for me, frankly," Trump said in his "Fox News Primetime" appearance on Tuesday.

It should also be noted that the former President said the same thing in his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida last month.

Trump also cautioned against making the vaccine rollout mandatory for employment.

"But, you know, again, we have our freedoms, and we have to live by that, and I agree with that also," he said.

Trump commended his past administration's work in handling the pandemic where Operation Warp Speed managed to efficiently produce three vaccines and the closing of borders for which he was accused of xenophobia.

"We did a great job, we get very little credit for it," he commented.

Franklin Graham, son of the late American evangelist Billy Graham, also urges his congregants to take the vaccine. In his interview with ABC News, Graham said that he had the shot.

Based on Pew Research's data, only 54 % of white evangelicals say they will get the vaccine. That is in contrast to the 77% of Catholics, 64% black Protestants, 90% of atheists.

To encourage more people from the Christian community, Graham said that his father also believed in modern medicine.

"If anytime there was a vaccine or something that could help protect you, he was an advocate for it. He took it. I believe that it's consistent with Scripture -- that we protect our lives, and do whatever we can to save life. So I don't have any problem with telling a person to take an aspirin or telling a person to have a vaccine," explained the evangelist.

He then thanked the doctors and researchers for their hard work in developing the vaccines.

"I hope that the American people will use them," Graham said.

When asked about what he thinks of pastors who are discouraging their members from getting the COVID-19 vaccine, Graham said that act is "problematic."

"I hope that the pastors in the pulpit would tell people how they can be saved from God's judgment, and that's through faith in Jesus Christ," he said, highlighting their main job.

"I think [for] a pastor to tell someone not to take the vaccine is problematic, because what would happen if that person died -- got Coronavirus and died - then is the pastor responsible? I would feel responsible," Graham added.

It's worth noting, however, that for Graham, the COVID vaccine is not the ultimate solution to the problems brought about by the pandemic. Back in December, the evangelist noted that while an "effective vaccine" might help restore things like gatherings, it won't solve issues like depression, anxiety, worry or fear -- things that people experienced while the virus continued to spread.

"There is only one way to find healing for deep, spiritual needs, and that's in Jesus Christ," he said then, noting that the Lord is "the hope of Christmas and the hope of the world."

According to Bloomberg's COVID vaccine tracker, about 2.4 million Americans are vaccinated each day and as of Monday, over 100 million doses had been distributed across the nation.