Former President Trump said Tuesday it was tough to be “overly critical” of President Biden, after the president praised the Trump administration for its COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
“Thanks to the prior administration and our scientific community, America is one of the first countries to get the vaccine,” Biden said from the White House, referring to the Trump administration’s vaccine effort referred to as Operation Warp Speed.
“Thanks to my administration, the hard work of Americans, we let — our rollout made America among the world leaders in getting shots in arms,” Biden continued.
Trump, in an interview with Fox News the same evening, said he was both “surprised” and “appreciative” of the president’s acknowledgment, adding it is difficult to criticize Biden after receiving recognition.
“It is a little tough to be overly critical now because he just thanked us for the vaccine and thanked me for what I did,” Trump reportedly said. “You know, that’s a first — so it is very tough for me to be overly critical now.”
The 45th president continued that he believes Biden’s remarks “were a terrific thing” that will “make a lot of people happy.”
“I think he did something very good,” Trump said. “You know, it has to be a process of healing in this country, and that will help a lot.”
Trump told Fox News that he has received a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, which Biden acknowledged in his speech, and encouraged people to “embrace” vaccination. But he was critical of vaccine mandates.
“It’s a matter of getting people out to, ideally, get the vaccine,” Trump said. “If you have the mandate, the mandate will destroy people’s lives — it destroys people’s lives, just as the vaccine saves people.”
“I think that it’s really a question of tone,” he added. “It’s a question of trust, and hopefully, the people that have had COVID, hopefully they will be given credit for that.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday the president’s remarks about Trump getting a booster was “an acknowledgment that the former President sent an important signal to many Americans about the importance of getting boosted,” according to CNN.
READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA