Meredith McGraw at Politico:
A few weeks ago, Donald Trump decried politicians who did not share their Covid-19 vaccine booster status as “gutless”—a seeming swipe at other Republicans with presidential ambitions, mainly Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who were keeping mum on the matter.
Days later, Trump took the stage in Arizona and didn’t mention his vaccination status or encourage others to get it, as he had at past rallies. He has not talked about booster shots since.
The silence from the former president is not coincidental. Within Trump’s circles, there is a growing sense that encouraging vaccines too aggressively could carry political risks. Like much of the rest of the GOP, the current calculation has been to rail against vaccine mandates but keep quiet on the push for the vaccines themselves.
“I think there was a course correction there and it was pretty apparent,” said a former Trump adviser and campaign strategist, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are working with candidates on different sides of the issue. “He probably has to balance the position of whether he wants to separate himself against DeSantis but also do no harm. So there was a course correction, where being against mandates is a very safe position and leaving it to personal choice and personal freedom is the best course.”