All the living former U.S. presidents except Donald Trump have joined together in an ad campaign urging Americans to get vaccinated for COVID-19 to help end the pandemic.
Titled “It's Up to You,” the ad features former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, as well as photographs of former first ladies Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush and Rosalynn Carter receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
“This vaccine means hope. It will protect you and those you love from this dangerous and deadly disease,” Obama, who is 59 years old, said in the ad.
“In order to get rid of this pandemic, it’s important for our fellow citizens to get vaccinated,” said Bush.
Since the start of the pandemic, more than 530,000 Americans have been killed by COVID-19. The number of cases of the disease and deaths from it have been steadily falling in the months since vaccines have been distributed nationwide.
“I’m getting vaccinated because we want this pandemic to end as soon as possible,” Carter, 96, said.
“I want to go back to work and I want to be able to move around,” said Clinton, who, like Bush, is 74.
Trump's absence from the ad campaign is notable in several respects. The former president and his wife, Melania, were both vaccinated for COVID-19 at the White House in early January, though they did not announce that fact and it was not reported until March 1.
After he left the White House, Trump has largely steered clear of efforts to promote vaccination, with an exception coming during his Feb. 28 speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
“We took care of a lot of people — including, I guess, on Dec. 21st, we took care of Joe Biden, because he got his shot, he got his vaccine,” Trump said. “It shows you how unpainful that vaccine shot is.”
“So everybody, go get your shot,” Trump, who is 74, added.
In a Wednesday statement, Trump simultaneously took credit for the fast production of vaccines and insisted that, if it hadn't been for his presidency, no vaccines might have been developed for COVID-19.
“I hope everyone remembers when they’re getting the COVID-19 (often referred to as the China Virus) Vaccine, that if I wasn’t President, you wouldn't be getting that beautiful ‘shot’ for 5 years, at best, and probably wouldn’t be getting it at all.”
The U.S., however, is not the only country to have aided in the production of vaccines for COVID-19.
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