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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

Asymptotic Florida students exposed to COVID no longer have to quarantine

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis during a September news conference in Viera, Fla. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced Wednesday an emergency order allowing parents to decide whether their children should quarantine or stay in school if they're exposed to COVID-19, provided they're asymptomatic.

Why it matters: People infected with COVID-19 can spread the coronavirus starting from two days before they display symptoms, according to the CDC. Quarantine helps prevent the virus' spread.

Federal judge: Florida ban on sanctuary cities racially motivated

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday struck down parts of a Florida law aimed at banning local governments from establishing sanctuary city policies, arguing in part that the law is racially motivated and that it has the support of hate groups.

Why it matters: In a 110-page ruling issued Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom said the law — signed and championed by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) — violates the Constitution's Equal Protection Clause because it was adopted with discriminatory motives.

Biden steps into the breach

Sen. Joe Manchin heads to a meeting with President Biden today. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

President Biden ramped up the pressure on his fellow Democrats Wednesday, calling a series of lawmakers to the White House in the hope of ending infighting and getting them in line.

Why it matters: Divisions within the party are threatening to derail Biden's top priorities. After several weeks of letting negotiations play out, the president is finally asserting his power to ensure his own party doesn't block his agenda.