Former President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump received coronavirus vaccines in early January on the advice of doctors, according to a Trump adviser speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the ex-president’s medical history.
Trump aides declined to say what type of vaccine he received. At the time, vaccines manufactured by both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech had emergency use approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
Aides did not disclose why Trump was vaccinated in secret. Polls have frequently found vaccine skepticism to be disproportionately common among Republican voters, a partisan divide that threatens to hamper vaccine rollout.
Other top officials, including then-President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, and then-Vice President Mike Pence received shots in front of television cameras.
Trump discussed vaccinations during his Sunday speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, urging delegates to get their shots while mocking Biden for receiving one.
“We took care of a lot of people. Including, I guess on December 21st, we took care of Joe Biden, because he got his shot,” Trump said. “He got his vaccine … So everybody go get your shot.”
On Oct. 2, the former president contracted COVID-19 and was hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he received treatment with monoclonal antibodies. The treatment creates artificial antibodies that mimic natural immune responses. Trump was released from the hospital after three days of treatment.