jen psaki
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds the daily press briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, DC, June 28, 2021.
Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images
  • Psaki said it's a "good thing" that Trump urged his supporters to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Trump was booed by his supporters for recommending the vaccine at an Alabama rally on Saturday.
  • Psaki said the Biden administration "will take anyone who has a big platform" to urge vaccination.
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White House press secretary Jen Psaki said it's a "good thing" that former President Donald Trump urged his supporters to get a COVID-19 vaccine during a Saturday rally in Alabama, which has the lowest rate of fully vaccinated residents in the country.

"We will take anyone who has a big platform out there who wants to encourage people to get vaccinated … that's a good thing," Psaki told reporters at a Monday press briefing. "We understand that some of the people who are not yet vaccinated are not people who may have Biden-Harris stickers on their cars, and that's okay."

Trump's was booed for praising the vaccines at his rally.

"I believe totally in your freedoms, I do, you've got to do what you've got to do. But I recommend that you take the vaccines," Trump said, as the crowd began to boo. "But I recommend: take the vaccines. I did it. It's good. Take the vaccines."

Psaki said the boos from Trump's supporters are simply evidence that the administration has "more work to do" to educate and persuade those skeptical about the vaccines.

"It's just a recognition, as we are very clear-eyed about, that there are still people who are skeptical out there in the country," Psaki said. "There are still people who, whether because of misinformation or a range of factors, are not yet getting vaccinated, even though it could save their lives. It means we still have more work to do and we are committed to doing exactly that."

Trump's messaging on the vaccine has been mixed. He and former first lady Melania Trump were secretly vaccinated at the White House in January, and he's done very little to publicly promote the shots. He told Fox Business last week he thinks the booster shots approved by the FDA are a way for pharmaceutical companies to make money, suggesting without evidence that the shots are medically unnecessary. But he's consistently taken credit for the development of the vaccines under his administration.

The former president held his "Save America" rally, which was attended by about 30,000 largely maskless fans, in Cullman after the city declared a state of emergency last Thursday because of it's sharp spike in COVID-19 cases.

On Monday, the FDA granted full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for those 16 and older – a milestone that Psaki said the administration is hopeful will encourage more Americans to get vaccinated.

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