Barack Obama has joined other former US presidents who have promised to get vaccinated on TV.
His predecessors, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton have also said they are ready to publicly take the coronavirus jab to prove its safety.
Obama, has however been widely mocked by critics who very quickly recalled a similar “stunt” when he drank newly cleaned water in Flint, Michigan.
Talking about the upcoming covid-19 vaccine, Obama said “I may end up taking it on TV or having it filmed, just so that people know that I trust this science“
RT reports: Yet, critics immediately pounced on the comment, comparing it to his response to the Flint water crisis.
The infamous health disaster began in 2014, when, due to mismanagement, water pipes succumbed to corrosion and contaminated the city’s supply with lead. In May 2016, Obama visited Flint to highlight federal assistance in replacing some of the lead pipes.
Then, during a rally and a press conference Obama apparently drank some of the newly safe Flint water in front of cameras, personally attesting to its safety. “This is not a stunt,” he insisted.
Despite the ex-president’s earlier seal of approval, the city still doesn’t have fully clean water, as even four years later, not all contaminated pipes have been replaced. The Flint water crisis resulted in at least 12 deaths – and thousands of people, including children, were exposed to lead, which prompted health and cognitive issues.
In that context, Obama’s promised attempt to dissuade fears around a potential coronavirus vaccine was called yet ‘another stunt,’ done only for publicity. “The fact that Flint still doesn’t have clean water is crazy but mostly sad,” tweeted one commenter.
One person joked that Obama should wash the vaccine down “with a Flint water chaser.”
“If Obama takes the vaccine, I’m definitely waiting,” quipped another one.