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Former President Barack Obama announced Sunday he tested positive for COVID-19.
“I just tested positive for COVID. I’ve had a scratchy throat for a couple days, but am feeling fine otherwise. Michelle and I are grateful to be vaccinated and boosted, and she has tested negative,” Obama said in a tweet.
“It’s a reminder to get vaccinated if you haven’t already, even as cases go down,” the former president added.
Obama has been a longtime proponent of COVID-19 vaccination. In December 2020, he joined former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton in announcing his willingness to get the coronavirus vaccine publicly when it became available to ensure its safety. Former President Jimmy Carter also came out in support of the vaccine.
Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter, pose in the Oval Office of the White House.
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
“Michelle and I got vaccinated against COVID-19 because we know it’s the best way to beat this pandemic, protect one another, and get the country back up and running again,” Obama wrote on Facebook in March 2021, accompanied by footage of himself and former first lady Michelle Obama getting the shot. “So I hope you’ll get the vaccine as soon as it’s available to you. It could save your life.”
During an interview on SiriusXM’s “The Joe Madison Show” in December 2020, Obama pushed back when asked about African Americans potentially being skeptical about taking a COVID-19 vaccine given past medical experiments on the community.
“People like Anthony Fauci, who I know, and I’ve worked with, I trust completely,” Obama said. “So if Anthony Fauci tells me this vaccine is safe, and can vaccinate, you know, immunize you from getting COVID, absolutely, I’m going to take it.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021, in Washington, D.C.
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
“What I don’t trust is getting COVID,” Obama said. “I think at this point, particularly in the African American community, we are — African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans — we have the highest death rates from this thing, and are most exposed and most vulnerable, in part because we have a lot of preexisting conditions.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on Black, Hispanic and Native American communities, specifically in regard to hospitalizations and deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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