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NIAID director Anthony Fauci told "Fox News Sunday" that "it would make all the difference in the world" if former President Trump urged his supporters to take the coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: Republicans — particularly men in the party — are the least likely demographic to say they plan to get vaccinated against the virus, recent polls suggest.

By the numbers: 49% of Republican men surveyed in an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll conducted in early March indicated they would not get vaccinated, while 47% of those who supported Trump in 2020 said the same.

What he's saying: Fauci said if Trump urged his supporters to take the vaccine, "I cannot imagine ... that they would not get vaccinated."

  • "If he came out and said, 'go and get vaccinated, it's really important for your health, the health of your family, and the health of the country,' it seems absolutely inevitable that the vast majority of people who are his close followers would listen to him."
  • "I'm very surprised that the high percentage of Republicans say they don't want to get vaccinated. I don't understand where that's coming from. This is not a political issue. This is a public health issue."

Flashback: Trump encouraged his supporters to get the coronavirus vaccine for the first time at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in late February, saying: “Everyone should go get your shot,” after noting the vaccine is "unpainful."

Methodology: NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll of 1,227 adults March 3-8 in English and Spanish via cell phones and landlines, margin of error ±3.4 percentage points.

Go deeper

Lawmakers reach deal on bipartisan commission to investigate Jan. 6

Speaker Pelosi outside the U.S. Capitol. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House negotiators have reached an agreement on the parameters of a 9/11-style commission to investigate the "facts and circumstances" surrounding the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, the House Homeland Security Committee announced Friday.

Why it matters: The formation of a bipartisan Jan. 6 commission had been delayed for months, after some Republicans insisted that the scope of the investigation be expanded to include violence by far-left protesters last summer.

Elise Stefanik elected No. 3 House Republican after Liz Cheney ouster

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) on May 12. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

House Republicans voted 134-46 in a secret ballot Friday to appoint Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) as the chair of the GOP conference, replacing Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.).

Why it matters: Stefanik's appointment underscores how important loyalty to former President Trump remains to the Republican Party.

Retail sales flat in April after huge surge in March

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

April retail sales in the U.S. were unchanged from March, which saw a surge revised up to 10.7%, according to the latest Commerce Department report published Friday.

Why it matters: The U.S. has been entering a period of growing optimism in the wake of the vaccine rollout, falling new COVID-19 cases and deaths, and a slowly recovering labor market. Retail sales were up 51% year-over-year compared to April 2020.