Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is among many Republican lawmakers who have offered vague responses when asked if they've received their booster shot
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Donald Trump
Donald Trump
| Credit: Steven Ferdman/WireImage

Former President Donald Trump this week blasted other politicians — most if not all of whom are Republicans — who have been vague on their COVID-19 vaccine status. Trump called them "gutless" and implored them to open up about whether or not they've received the shots and booster.

"Well, I've taken it," Trump — who has a checkered history with the pandemic, which he downplayed while in the White House even as he embraced vaccines — said in an interview with far-right network One America News that aired Tuesday night.

"I've had the booster. ... I watched a couple of politicians be interviewed and one of the questions was, 'Did you get the booster?' — because they had the vaccine — and they're answering like, in other words, the answer is 'yes' but they don't want to say it," Trump, 75, told OAN. "Because they're gutless."

He continued: "You gotta say it, whether you had it or not. Say it. But the fact is that I think the vaccines saved tens of millions throughout the world. I've had absolutely no side-effects."

Many Republicans have downplayed vaccines and even flirted with the vaccine skepticism exhibited by some of their supporters, even as they themselves have been vaccinated.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, for instance — rumored to be mulling a run for president in 2024, which could pit him against Trump should both men enter the race — was first vaccinated back in April, his office confirmed to the Associated Press.

But DeSantis offered a cagey response when asked by reporters last month whether he had been boosted.

"So, I've done whatever I did," he said. "The normal shot."

Donald Trump
Donald Trump
| Credit: James Devaney/GC Images

In July, CNN reported that nearly 50% of Republicans in the House of Representatives (including Florida's Matt Gaetz) would not confirm whether they had been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Trump's latest remarks on the vaccine come weeks after he told right-wing media personality Candace Owens that vaccines "work" and that those who get sick with the virus "are the ones that don't take the vaccine."

"The ones who get very sick and go to the hospital are the ones that don't take the vaccine. But it's still their choice. And if you take the vaccine, you're protected," Trump told Owens.

"Look, the results of the vaccine are very good, and if you do get it, it's a very minor form," he said. "People aren't dying when they take the vaccine."

In a December appearance at his and Bill O'Reilly's joint "History Tour," footage of which was shared on Twitter by O'Reilly's No Spin News, Trump was booed by some of his own supporters when he confirmed that he had received his booster shot.

An adviser previously said Trump got his first COVID vaccine while he was still in office, after he had been hospitalized with the virus.

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