Sarah Huckabee Sanders Says She Got the Vaccine After Being Reassured Once the Trumps Were Vaccinated
Sarah Huckabee Sanders is the latest Republican to publicly voice support for COVID-19 vaccines, writing in a new op-ed for Arkansas Online that she got her shot after the former first family got their own.
"Based on the advice of my doctor, I determined that the benefits of getting vaccinated outweighed any potential risks," Huckabee Sanders, 38, wrote in the editorial published Sunday.
She continued: "I was also reassured after President Trump and his family were vaccinated. If getting vaccinated was safe enough for them, I felt it was safe enough for me."
Recent weeks have seen an uptick in the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, and a shift in the way Republican officials publicly speak about the vaccine. Sanders took it a step further, however, attempting to tie the success of what she called the "Trump vaccine," to her former boss.
The Trump administration's Operation Warp Speed helped to fast-track the development and rollout of the shots, but the vaccines themselves were the result of global collaboration among scientists everywhere. As Business Insider notes, the most widely used vaccine in the U.S. — the one created by Pfizer/BioNTech — was developed by a Turkish-German scientist duo.
Despite recent efforts to advocate for the safety and efficacy of the vaccines, polling shows that many Americans who live in conservative regions of the country remain skeptical of the shot. At least part of the reason is that some elected officials and conservative television personalities have continued to reinforce right-wing vaccine skepticism, even as they themselves have been vaccinated.
Last week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attempted to swipe at those pushing falsehoods about the vaccines, saying, "I want to encourage everybody ... to ignore all of these other voices that are giving demonstrably bad advice."
The Kentucky Republican added: "These shots need to get in everybody's arm as rapidly as possible."
Sanders served as Trump's White House press secretary until June 2019, previously taking over as deputy White House press secretary in January 2017, after Sean Spicer, Trump's first spokesperson as president, abruptly left.
The controversial former White House press secretary announced her bid for governor of Arkansas in January, with a video that drew heavily on her time in the former administration.
The daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has since raised a significant amount of money (enough to indicate she will be a significant candidate in the field).
Former President Trump endorsed Sanders' bid for governor in January, issuing a statement in which he called her a "warrior who will always fight for the people of Arkansas and do what is right, not what is politically correct."