Donald Trump on Wednesday night said he was concerned about reports of young people suffering adverse effects from the COVID-19 vaccination, insisting that he supported the vaccination campaign but only for those for whom it was necessary.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has, since May 27, recommended that all people over the age of 12 be vaccinated against the virus.
More than 400 children in the United States have died from it, and tens of thousands have been hospitalized. The death toll for the country as a whole is now 600,000.
Yet Trump on Wednesday told Fox News he was not sure if children benefitted from the jab.
‘We have to get back into schools, they have to get open,’ he said.
Donald Trump on Wednesday night appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show, and questioned the necessity of vaccinating children against COVID-19. The CDC currently recommends that all people over the age of 12 be vaccinated
Hannity asked his friend for his thoughts on COVID, leading Trump to note how he had shut down air travel from China and Europe, and demand that China pay reparations
Trump, seen on June 5 in North Carolina, said he believed in vaccinating people against COVID-19, but not necessarily children. More than 400 youngsters have died from the virus so far
Children aged 12 and over are now being recommended by the CDC to receive the jab
‘And frankly, we are lucky we have the vaccine, but the vaccine on the very young people is something that you’ve got to really stop.
‘I am a big believer in what we did with the vaccine, it is incredible what we did. You see the results.
‘But to have every school child, where is 99.99%, they just don’t – you know, they are just not affected or affected badly, having to receive a vaccine, I think it is something that you should start thinking about because I think it is unnecessary.’
The president said he felt vindicated by his decision to stop flights coming from China in the early days of the pandemic, and then end routes from Europe.
‘Nobody did as good of a job as the pandemic as we did, and that is why we are leading the world in terms of coming back,’ he said.
He said he felt the COVID-19 virus was ‘a terrible accident, but it came from a lab’.
Pressed by Fox News’s Sean Hannity on whether he thought the virus could have been deliberately spread, he said he hoped and believed not.
‘That horrible thing that came at us from China, and came at us from the Wuhan lab, it changed my whole line of thinking,’ he said.
‘And you just, I really hope, and I believe it was an accident, it was incompetence.
‘I guess some people don’t necessarily agree with that. They think maybe there was purpose to it, which would be absolutely terrible.
‘But we have to find out more about it, why did it happen, how did it happen, how could anybody be so incompetent, and that is not a group of incompetent people.
‘I believe it was a terrible accident, but it came from the lab.’
Trump said he was convinced that COVID-19 escaped from the Wuhan lab (pictured). He said he believed it was an accident, driven by incompetence, rather than a deliberate spreading of the lethal virus
Workers are seen inside the Wuhan lab, which is now the focus of investigations to understand where and how the pandemic began, and try and stop another similar outbreak
The 75-year-old said he thought China needed to pay reparations for the pandemic, which has killed 3.2 million people and infected 177 million.
He has previously said China owed $10 trillion, but insisted on Wednesday that was not sufficient.
‘The number is much higher than that, but there is only so much they can pay,’ said Trump.
‘And that is to us.’
He added that ‘virtually every country has been devastated,’ noting the suffering in India at the moment.
‘Countries have been destroyed over what they did, and whether, by accident or not – and I would hope it was accident, I hope it was through incompetence or an accident – but when you look, whether it was by an accident, whether it was whatever it is, this – you look at these countries, they will never ever be the same.
‘Our country was hit so hard, but other countries were hit much harder.’
Trump said that he felt the pandemic had benefitted China economically.
‘If you think about it, in certain ways, maybe they benefited very greatly,’ he said.
‘I mean, very, very greatly, and I can tell you they benefited with the U.S.
‘Because we were in a process of doing things where we caught up to China at a level that nobody thought was possible, and once the China virus came in, we had to take a very different – look, the world changed. The whole world changed.
‘You did not think about the economics, you thought about saving people and saving lives, so the world changed.’