July 26, 2021

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who is running for governor of Arkansas, wrote a guest column for The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette titled “The reasoning behind getting vaccinated.”

For much of the column, Sanders touts the work of her former boss, Donald Trump, while complaining that the current administration and those who support Joe Biden haven’t given Trump enough credit in the fight against COVID-19. She takes jabs at Dr. Anthony Fauci and the so-called “because science says so” crowds, which includes what Sanders calls “arrogant, condescending politicians and bureaucrats.”

After making sure that she made all that clear, she finally gets around to writing, “Based on the advice of my doctor, I determined that the benefits of getting vaccinated outweighed any potential risks.”

She then goes on to talk about how important the “Trump vaccine” is for those in the state of Arkansas, and the benefits of being vaccinated.

On one hand, the overwhelming theme that runs through Sanders’ column is political. On the other hand, anything that encourages someone to get the vaccine could be viewed as positive.

Right through to the end, however, Sanders clearly is worried about the politics and offending anyone. Her final paragraph: “So to anyone still considering the merits of vaccination, I leave you with this encouragement: Pray about it, discuss it with your family and your doctor. Filter out the noise and fear-mongering and condescension, and make the best, most informed decision you can that helps your family, community, and our great state be its very best.”

Arkansas, like many other states, is struggling against with COVID-19. The current governor, Asa Hutchinson, appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” and said, “This is a pivotal moment in our race against the COVID virus. We have school coming up. We have a lot of sports activities that people are expecting and anxious about. And it’s important for normalcy. And what’s holding us back is a low vaccination rate. We’re doing all that we can. And I made the decision that it’s really not what the government can tell you to do, but it is the community and their engagement and citizens talking to other citizens and trusted advisers, whether it’s the medical community or whether it’s employers. Those are key.”

This piece originally appeared in The Poynter Report, our daily newsletter for everyone who cares about the media. Subscribe to The Poynter Report here.

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Tom Jones is Poynter’s senior media writer for He was previously part of the Tampa Bay Times family during three stints over some 30…
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