A White House official on Monday said that President Donald Trump is willing to take the COVID-19 vaccine live on television.
During a background call with journalists, one reporter asked does “the president expect that he will ever receive the vaccine himself on live TV to promote the safety of the vaccine?”
“With respect to the president and taking the vaccine, that’s certainly something that is under consideration,” the unnamed official said. “The president has previously expressed his willingness to do whatever the experts thought was the best path, in terms of instilling vaccine confidence.”
But as the president has already had the virus, the official said it was an “open question” as to whether he should take the vaccine.
“As you know, the president recovered from COVID. And so I think there is something that’s up for discussion as to whether someone who’s recovered from COVID and has antibodies would necessarily be a high priority for receiving the vaccine and for the purposes of vaccine confidence,” the official said.
“But he’s expressed his willingness. I think there is an open question as to whether, ultimately, he will be one of the ones to take it on air. And that’s simply a function of whether that would actually serve the desired purpose, given the fact that he’s a recovered patient. But there are other sort of famous, shall we say, vaccine influencers and experts who I think have come forward and volunteered to participate in an effort to help instill public confidence, and we’re certainly considering such offers,” the official said.
Every living former president — Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama — said last week that they would take the vaccine and have it filmed so that Americans can have confidence in it.
“A few weeks ago President Bush asked me to let Dr. [Anthony] Fauci and Dr. [Deborah] Birx know that, when the time is right, he wants to do what he can to help encourage his fellow citizens to get vaccinated,” Bush’s chief of staff Freddy Ford told CNN. “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.”
Angel Urena, press secretary to Clinton, indicated that Bush’s predecessor would also be willing to take the vaccine publicly to prove its safety to any doubters.
“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,” said Urena.
On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a detailed analysis of the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer, deeming the two-shot immunization safe and effective.
The move comes two days ahead of an FDA meeting of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, a group of independent experts set to advise the agency on whether to grant the vaccine emergency use authorization (EUA).
The agency released two separate analyses, one from its own team of scientists and a second from from the vaccine’s manufacturers, Pfizer Inc. and German partner BioNTech SE. They conclude that the vaccine “met the prescribed success criteria.” The vaccine, the FDA said, is “for active immunization for the prevention of COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 in individuals 16 years of age and older.”
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