Former President Trump encourages his supporters to take COVID-19 vaccine

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Trump Tops List as 'Most Admired Man in America', in Annual Gallup Survey.1,018 adults were surveyed for the poll during the first half of December.Eighteen percent of respondents named President Donald Trump as the "most admired man in America.".It is the first time in 12 years that Trump received a higher percentage than former President Barack Obama.Fifteen percent of respondents named Obama as the "most admired man in America.".The margin of error for the poll is plus or minus 4 percentage points.President-elect Joe Biden was named "most admired man in America" by 6% of the respondents.Three percent of respondents gave the title to Dr. Anthony Fauci.Two percent chose Pope Francis.Michelle Obama was named "most admired woman in America" for the third straight year

Former President Donald Trump has implored his supporters, many of whom have been resistant, to be vaccinated against COVID-19, saying he would recommend vaccination to those who are still questioning it.

In an interview Tuesday night on Fox News, Trump acknowledged that people were free to decide for themselves whether they would be vaccinated against COVID-19. However, he said he would recommend it to “a lot of people that don’t want to get it, and a lot of those people voted for me.”

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“We have our freedoms and we have to live by that and I agree with that also. But it is a great vaccine. It is a safe vaccine and it is something that works,” he said.

Republican opposition to receiving the vaccine is strong. A new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 42% of Republicans say they probably or definitely will not get the shot, compared with 17% of Democrats — a 25-point split.

Trump has promoted vaccination in the past. While speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Feb. 28, he said, “Everybody, go get your shot.”

“We took care of a lot of people — including, I guess, on December 21st, we took care of Joe Biden, because he got his shot, he got his vaccine,” Trump said at CPAC. “It shows you how un-painful all that vaccine shot is. So everybody go get your shot. He forgot so it wasn’t very traumatic obviously, but he got his shot and it’s good that he got his shot.”

Trump’s more direct appeal to Americans comes as some of his own supporters have exhibited skepticism about taking the coronavirus vaccine. Experts say his endorsement of vaccinations could help alleviate some of that skepticism.

Since leaving office, Trump has issued statement’s insinuating his own success with the vaccine’s fast-tracked development. Trump had not previously encouraged vaccination efforts even as it emerged that he and the former first lady Melania Trump had been inoculated from the virus in January before their White House exit.

Some of Trump’s top aides in the White House were unaware Trump got the vaccine and reporters were often told it was unlikely Trump would be inoculated because he had antibodies from contracting the virus in October. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention does recommend vaccination even if you’ve had COVID-19.