Donald and Melania Trump are the only living former president and first lady not to appear in a pro-vaccine public service announcement starring Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George W Bush, Jimmy Carter and their wives. The Trumps reportedly declined to participate in the new ad encouraging Americans to get vaccinated.
The public service announcement, which was released on Thursday, features exclusive clips of Barack Obama, George W Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter addressing viewers and urging them to take the shot when they can. But the Trumps were notably absent. Bush’s wife Laura appeared alongside him as he spoke, with the advert also showing former first ladies Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton and Rosalynn Carter receiving their vaccines.
Both Donald and Melania secretly received their Covid vaccines shortly before leaving the White House in January, it was revealed last week. The couple contracted Covid in October, with the former president spending three nights in hospital with a far more serious case of the virus than he initially claimed to have.
Obama and Clinton – both Democrats – as well as Bush, a Republican, have come together for a slew of initiatives in recent months to encourage unity in the wake of Trump’s divisive term in office. They issued a joint video statement wishing Joe Biden good luck on his inauguration day, and attended the ceremony itself, which the Trumps snubbed.
Jimmy Carter, 96, and Rosalynn, 93, did not attend for practical reasons.
The US is on track to have administered 100 million vaccine doses in the coming days, as Covid deaths edge closer to 530,000, and recorded infections hit 29.15 million. President Biden says all 275 million adults living in the US should be able to receive the vaccine by the end of May.
Watch the ad below: