Some of Donald Trump’s most fervent supporters and right-wing allies have turned on the twice-impeached ex-president following his glowing public endorsement of the COVID-19 vaccine, and subsequent positive messaging around receiving a booster shot.
The fringe characters have come out of the woodwork to try and throw down with the political leader they once praised.
While on stage with disgraced former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly this past weekend, Trump praised his own administration’s rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines, a sticking point in TrumpWorld as pundits have been apprehensive about backing the shots. “We did something that was historic,” Trump told the crowd, which he was booed over. “We got a vaccine done.”
Right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, along with countless other far-right types, weren’t pleased with Trump’s enthusiastic endorsement of the vaccine.
“Sign on to it. Take credit for it. Take this, sign on, believe it. Hell, we’re fighting Bill Gates and Fauci and Biden and the New World Order and Psaki and the Davos Group,” Jones fumed on his daily show this past week, “and now we’ve got Trump on their team!”
Far-right “Stop the Steal” and Jan. 6 organizer Ali Alexander also took a swing at Trump over his outspoken support for the vaccine.
“Remember when Trump said you would be playing right into the Democrat’s hands by mocking the rushed, ineffective shot?” Alexander wrote Thursday afternoon on Telegram. “Yeah, Joe Biden praises him and his booster shot. Trump, stop. Just stop. Have your position (backed by Fauci) and allow us to have ours (which is backed by science). This losing is getting boomer level annoying.”
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, however, told The Daily Beast he isn’t concerned with Trump supporting the vaccine because “he is 100% against mandates!”
Lindell added that, unlike Trump “I am 100% against the vaccine! You know that.”
Similarly, pro-Trump lawyer Lin Wood urged followers to hold back, calling the Trump vaccine push a part of the former president's “wartime strategy.”
“I believe We The People should wait until ALL the facts are known before passing judgment on the President's wartime strategy and the tactics designed to achieve victory,” he wrote, which left him in hot water with some of his followers.
On Friday morning, Wood played coy when speaking to The Daily Beast while claiming he has “deferred to him [Trump]” on the vaccine matter. “I don't consider myself a public advocate against the vaccine,” he said, while noting he is an advocate “against child sex trafficking.”
“I leave the question of taking the vaccine up to individuals,” he said, despite having previously calling the vaccine “a planned bioweapon” on Telegram, another social media platform favored by the far right.
Alleged QAnon ringleader turned Arizona congressional candidate Ron Watkins chimed in after Trump doubled down on his vaccine support later in the week during an interview with right-wing commentator Candace Owens.
“Oh no, the vaccines work, but… the ones who get very sick and go to the hospital are the ones that don’t take the vaccine,” Trump told Owens. “But it’s still their choice… Look, the results of the vaccine are very good, and if you do get it, it’s a very minor form. People aren’t dying when they take the vaccine.”
Watkins fired back at Trump, calling the vaccines “subscription suicide shots” while telling his loyal QAnon adherents to “choose life” rather than “comply” and get vaccinated.
A few other hardcore MAGA types have since turned on Trump, including the ultra-pro-Trump cartoonist Ben Garrison, who recently depicted the president that he once praised in his controversial cartoons as riding the “Big Pharma Vaccine Bandwagon.” The cartoon further features Trump supporters booing the ex-president as he rides a carriage with signs endorsing “vax passports” and “vaccine mandates.”
On Thursday afternoon, the pushback hit a bit closer to home for Trump, as a group of anti-vaxxers rolled up on the Trump Tower in Manhattan where they insisted on not wearing masking in the glitzy building and called Trump "controlled opposition."
"Trump is a fraud if he enforces this," one protester yelled, referring to the local mask mandate.
"Trump is a billionaire," the protester continued, "he can't afford a thousand dollar fine… to stand up for what's right?"