Former president Donald Trump refused to use the word vaccine when talking about Covid-19 at a rally for Republican candidates in Alaska Saturday evening.
Mr Trump made the remarks when discussing the response to Covid-19 during the final year of his administration and how more people died during President Joe Biden’s administration than during his.
“We did so much in terms of therapeutics and a word that I’m not allowed to mention, but I’m still proud of that word,” he told supporters in Anchorage. “We did that in nine months and it was supposed to take five years to 12 years, nobody else could have done it but I’m not mentioning it in front of my people. But someday we’re gonna have to all sit down and have a little talk but you know what, we did a hell of a job.”
During the beginning of the pandemic, Mr Trump initiated Operation Warp Speed to create a vaccine to immunise people against the virus that causes Covid-19.
But many of Mr Trump’s biggest supporters have criticised the vaccine. When he spoke in Alabama last year, he said “I recommend, take the vaccines, I did it, it’s good”, which received pushback.
Similarly, when he toured with former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly last year, an audience booed him when he said that he received his booster shot.
Mr Trump visited Alaska to campaign for Kelly Tshibaka, whom he endorsed to challenge incumbent Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, who voted to convict Mr Trump for his role in the January 6 riot at the US Capitol.
“You’re going to fire your RINO senator. She’s worse than a RINO,” he said, calling her a Republican in Name Only.
Mr Trump also campaigned for former governor and Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, who is running for an open House seat. Ms Palin is currently running in a close race with fellow Republican Nick Begich, the grandson of former Democratic congressman Nick Begich Sr.
Ms Palin is one of many Republicans who have opposed the Covid-19 vaccine. When she tested positive for the virus, she announced her opposition.
“It’ll be over my dead body that I’ll have to get a shot”, she said in Phoenix in 2021. “I will not do that. I won’t do it, and they better not touch my kids either.”
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