Donald Trump's former adviser discusses ongoing popularity
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On Thursday, adverts were released of the so called “ex-President’s club” which showed them receiving a Covid jab. Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W Bush and Barack Obama all appear in the campaign along with the former First Ladies Rosalynn Carter, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, and Michelle Obama.
However, former President Trump and former First Lady Melania Trump were not featured in the adverts.
The Trumps reportedly received a Covid jab earlier this year before leaving the White House in January but did not announce it publicly.
On Wednesday, Mr Trump claimed that if it was not for him they would not be getting the “beautiful” vaccine “for five years”.
In the new statement, he said: “I hope everyone remembers when they’re getting the Covid-19 vaccine, that if I wasn’t president, you wouldn’t be getting that beautiful ‘shot’ for five years, at best, and probably wouldn’t be getting it at all. I hope everyone remembers.”
The public service announcements were produced by the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative as part of a COVID-19 Vaccine Education Initiative “It’s Up to You” campaign.
The project featuring the former Presidents and First Ladies is said to have begun last December.
When asked about whether Mr Trump was invited to participate, a spokesperson for the Ad Council emphasised that the project started last year when he was still President and that one of the videos was filmed on Joe Biden’s Inauguration Day.
Mr Trump did not attend his successor’s inauguration after refusing to accept election defeat.
According to Politico, the Ad Council spokesperson said in a statement: “We just learned last week that President Trump did get vaccinated and were so pleased he advised Americans to ‘Go get your shot’.”
CNN’s Kevin Liptak and Jeff Zeleny claimed that Mr Trump’s inclusion in the campaign “never gained traction”.
In a report for the US media company, they wrote: “Discussions about Trump being involved in the spot never gained traction given his estrangement from the Presidents Club at the end of his term and the bitter way in which he departed Washington on Inauguration Day, people familiar with the matter said.”
Referencing Mr Biden’s inauguration, they added: “Because Trump made the decision to not join his predecessors in that historic moment, a person close to the project said, he wasn’t asked to be involved in the public service announcement.”
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Social media users took to Twitter on Thursday to blast Mr Trump’s absence from the campaign.
One Twitter user wrote: “Of course The Donald should not be included.”
Speaking about the ex-President’s club, another posted: “Good he should never be included in that elite club.”
A third Twitter user said: “Who cares, let the man remain forgotten. No one wants to remember the disaster he was.”
During the video ads, Mr Bush said: “We urge you to get vaccinated when it is available to you.”
Mr Obama added: “That’s the first step to ending the pandemic and moving our country forward. It’s up to you.”
The campaign comes amid growing concerns in the US over vaccine hesitancy among Republicans.
A poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation this month found that nearly one-third of all Republicans are opposed to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
In his Conservative conference speech earlier this month, Mr Trump encouraged his supporters to get the vaccine.
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