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The Missourian's View: President Trump Has The Power to Sway Minds

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The first coronavirus vaccine has been administered in England. Missouri is scheduled to receive more than 50,000 doses of the vaccine around Dec. 12. U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar told Axios that every American will be able to get a coronavirus vaccine by the second quarter of 2021.

Finally there is light at the end of the tunnel. Or is there? The vaccine is ready but a question remains — will people actually take it?

A Gallup poll conducted in October 2020 found 42 percent would not take a COVID-19 vaccine — that’s almost half the country if you believe the poll results.

Judging by the comments on a recent story we posted online on the Missouri vaccine rollout, the poll findings sound about right. There are a whole bunch of people in our county who do not trust the vaccine to be safe.

That is confounding given our hopes for ending the pandemic have rested in the development of a successful vaccine and everyone down from the president to the scientific community has vouched for the processes used to verify its safety.

President Trump is taking credit for delivering the vaccine. He deserves some credit. His Operation Warp Speed has pumped billions into the development process, which has delivered a vaccine in record time.

But if he wants to take credit for ending the pandemic he needs to go further by encouraging Americans to take the vaccine. He has an incredible power to shift opinions and change the minds of his followers. He needs to put that power to good use. He needs to wield that power to save lives.

Everyone in power who has influence over public opinion should encourage their followers to get the vaccine. That starts with the president. 

Let’s end this pandemic. Let’s get back to normal.