Former President Donald Trump is facing backlash from fringe factions of the right wing after he lauded the COVID-19 vaccines and encouraged people to take their booster shots.Scott Olson/Getty Images
The fringe factions of the right wing erupted in anger after Trump lauded the COVID-19 vaccines.
Figures such as Alex Jones and Ali Alexander swiftly rebuked Trump over his pro-vaccine stance.
Members of QAnon-linked Telegram channels said they felt betrayed after Trump said to get the shot.
Fringe factions of the right wing have erupted in anger and confusion at former President Donald Trump’s enthusiastic lauding of the COVID-19 vaccine this week.
On two separate occasions this past week, Trump advocated for people to take the COVID-19 vaccine. On Sunday, crowds booed the former president when he told Bill O’Reilly that he’d taken a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot and was pro-vaccination. Trump doubled down on his stance during an interview with the conservative commentator Candace Owens on Wednesday, hailing the vaccine as “one of the greatest achievements of mankind.”
“No, the vaccine worked. But some people aren’t taking it. The ones that get very sick and go to the hospital are the ones that don’t take their vaccine,” Trump told Owens.
“If you take the vaccine, you’re protected. Look, the results of the vaccine are very good. And if you do get it, it’s a very minor form. People aren’t dying when they take their vaccine,” he added.
On social media, right-wing figures, such as the conspiracy theorist and InfoWars talk-show host Alex Jones and the recently subpoenaed “Stop the Steal” organizer Ali Alexander, came out in force to rebuke Trump over his position.
“Remember when Trump said you would be playing right into the Democrats hands by mocking the rushed, ineffective shot? Yeah, Joe Biden praises him and his booster shot,” Alexander wrote on his Telegram channel on December 23.
“Trump, stop. Just stop. Have your position (backed by Fauci) and allow us to have ours (which is backed by science). This losing is getting boomer level annoying,” Alexander wrote.
Jones also lashed out at Trump after the former president announced on Sunday that he’d received a COVID-19 booster shot and was in favor of the vaccine.
“Hell, we’re fighting Bill Gates and Fauci and Biden and the New World Order and Psaki and the Davos Group,” Jones said. He added, “And now we’ve got Trump on their team!”
But Lin Wood, a pro-Trump lawyer, tried to justify Trump’s pro-vaccine stance. He said Trump was employing “wartime strategy and the tactics designed to achieve victory” by recommending the COVID vaccine, though he didn’t elaborate on what he thought those tactics were.
Ron Watkins, a congressional candidate in Arizona known for his QAnon links, posted a message on his Telegram channel after the Trump interview with Owens aired. He called the vaccines “subscription suicide shots” and called on his followers to “choose life” and “never comply.”
Some members of Watkins’ Telegram channel, which functions as a chat room for 40,167 members, also voiced their doubts about Trump.
A member of Watkins’ chat with the ID David Deitrich said he had “doubts about Trump” and was giving up “on him saving America.” The user added, “And then he leaves us and betrays us” to Biden.
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