Mike Pence will publicly receive Covid vaccine on Friday to build public confidence, Biden to get it next week
Pence, who is the head of the White House coronavirus task force, is hoping to 'promote the safety and efficacy of the vaccine and build confidence among the American people'
Vice President Mike Pence will publicly receive the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine on Friday to build confidence among people. He will be followed soon by President-elect Joe Biden, who is expected to get a shot as soon as next week. The White House said in a statement on Wednesday that Pence, who is the head of the White House coronavirus task force, is hoping to "promote the safety and efficacy of the vaccine and build confidence among the American people." At Friday's event, set to take place at the White House, the second lady Karen Pence, and Surgeon General Jerome Adams will also be receiving the vaccine.
On the other hand, a transition official told NBC News that Biden is expected to receive the vaccine as soon as next week. “I don’t want to get ahead of the line, but I want to make sure we demonstrate to the American people that it is safe to take,” Biden told reporters earlier Wednesday in Wilmington, Delaware. “When I do it, I’ll do it publicly so you can all witness my getting it done.”
Meanwhile, over the weekend, Trump posted a seemingly selfless tweet about not being the first ones to receive the Pfizer vaccine for the coronavirus after it was approved by the FDA for emergency use. His tweet which declared that he is not currently scheduled to take the vaccine confounded his critics. "People working in the White House should receive the vaccine somewhat later in the program, unless specifically necessary. I have asked that this adjustment be made. I am not scheduled to take the vaccine but look forward to doing so at the appropriate time. Thank you!" Trump tweeted.
People working in the White House should receive the vaccine somewhat later in the program, unless specifically necessary. I have asked that this adjustment be made. I am not scheduled to take the vaccine, but look forward to doing so at the appropriate time. Thank you!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 14, 2020
Trump's tweet came after Bloomberg News reported that some officials at the top of the U.S. government would be receiving Covid-19 vaccines this week. Apparently, Trump was also offered the vaccine but he never confirmed whether he would take it because he has already recovered from Covid-19. A spokesperson for the National Security Council said Sunday evening, before the president’s tweet, that key officials across the three branches of government would receive the Pfizer vaccine.
“Senior officials across all three branches of government will receive vaccinations pursuant to the continuity of government protocols established in executive policy,” said spokesperson John Ullyot, reported the Associated Press on Sunday evening. “The American people should have confidence that they are receiving the same safe and effective vaccine as senior officials of the United States government on the advice of public health professionals and national security leadership.”
We previously reported former presidents Barack Obama, George W Bush and Bill Clinton have all volunteered to get their Covid-19 vaccines on camera to build public confidence in the vaccine's safety once the US Food and Drug Administration authorized such a vaccine, which finally happened a few days ago for the Pfizer vaccine. The volunteering was part of former presidents' bid to raise public awareness as American health officials try to convince the masses to take the vaccine.
Freddy Ford, Bush's chief of staff, told CNN that the 43rd President had reached out to Dr Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the nation's top infectious disease expert, as well as Dr Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, to find out how he could help promote the vaccine.
"A few weeks ago President Bush asked me to let Dr Fauci and Dr Birx know that, when the time is right, he wants to do what he can to help encourage his fellow citizens to get vaccinated," Ford told the news outlet. "First, the vaccines need to be deemed safe and administered to the priority populations. Then, President Bush will get in line for his, and will gladly do so on camera."
Clinton's press secretary told CNN that he too would be willing to take the vaccine in a public setting in order to promote it. "President Clinton will definitely take a vaccine as soon as available to him, based on the priorities determined by public health officials. And he will do it in a public setting if it will help urge all Americans to do the same," Angel Urena said.
Obama himself admitted recently in an interview with SiriusXM host Joe Madison that if Fauci deemed a coronavirus vaccine safe, he would believe him and would have no issues being administered the same vaccine. "People like Anthony Fauci, who I know, and I've worked with, I trust completely," Obama said. "So, if Anthony Fauci tells me this vaccine is safe, and can vaccinate, you know, immunize you from getting Covid, absolutely, I'm going to take it. I promise you that when it's been made for people who are less at risk, I will be taking it," he said. "I may end up taking it on TV or having it filmed, just so that people know that I trust this science, and what I don't trust is getting Covid-19."