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Adm. Brett Giroir speaks during an interview on March 15. CNN

Former President Trump should encourage his supporters to get the Covid-19 vaccine, Adm. Brett Giroir said Monday. 

“The people who follow former President are very committed to President Trump, and I think his leadership still matters a great deal,” Giroir told CNN’s Jake Tapper.  

Giroir, who served as Health and Human Services assistant secretary under Trump, noted that the vaccines were developed under the Trump administration. 

“I think it’s very important for former President Trump, as well as the vice president to actively encourage all the followers to get the vaccine,” he said. 

About 47% of people who supported Trump in the 2020 election said they would not get a Covid-19 vaccine if it became available to them, a recent NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll found. 

Giroir said he did not know Trump was vaccinated until he heard it reported on the news, and is hesitant to comment on anyone’s private medical decisions.

He went on to say there was a clear strategy on the day that President Biden took office and the ramp up of vaccines has been approximately the same as he would have predicted under the Trump administration. 

“I think he’s done some very good things and positive things, but it’s built on the foundation that we built in the Trump administration,” Giroir said. “And that’s the way it should be. There’s no 180 degree turns.” 

The idea that the Trump administration did not provide a sufficient national strategy for administering Covid-19 vaccines is “a false narrative,” he said. 

“The foundation was there. There’s no reason to cast aspersions,” Giroir said. “This is a great American story. A Republican administration started this, laid the foundation, the baton has been passed, and the Biden administration are taking it even to greater levels.” 

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