Donald Trump is willing to take COVID vaccine live on TV, White House official reveals – but he might not need it because he’s survived it already
- A White House official said Monday that President Donald Trump was willing to take the COVID-19 vaccine on TV, but he may not be the best candidate
- Trump fell ill with COVID-19 in October and was briefly hospitalized before returning to the White House and, later, the campaign trail
- He now likely has antibodies and wouldn’t be a high-priority on being vaccinated
- The White House official said a number of ‘vaccine influencers’ have volunteered to film getting the vaccine, so that’s an option too
- Three former presidents – Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama – all said they’d televise getting the injection
- President-elect Joe Biden said in an interview last week that he’d also get the COVID-19 vaccine on TV
‘He’s expressed his willingness,’ an official told reporters during an on-background call. ‘I think there is an open question as to whether, ultimately, he will be one of the ones taking it on-air. And that’s simply a function of whether that would actually serve the desired purpose given the fact he’s a recovered patient.’
The president and first lady tested positive for COVID-19 in early October and Trump was briefly hospitalized at Walter Reed, before returning to the White House and, eventually, the campaign trail.
President Donald Trump is willing to take the COVID vaccine live on TV, according to a White House official Monday, but he may not be the best candidate because he already battled the disease and has antibodies
The first COVID-19 vaccines, from Pfizer and Moderna, are expected to be approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration in the coming days, with the White House saying a number of ‘vaccine influencers’ have volunteered to get it on TV, to quell anti-vax sentiment
Three former ex-presidents – Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama – said they would take the vaccine and have it filmed, in order to build up public confidence.
Last week, President-elect Joe Biden said he would the trio of ex-presidents and also take the vaccine on TV.
There’s already a growing anti-vax movement in the United States and medical experts are hoping to quell that with the first series of vaccinations against the coronavirus only weeks away.
‘The president has previously expressed his willingness to do whatever the experts thought was the best path in terms of instilling vaccine confidence,’ the senior official said.
‘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 White House aide continued.
The official didn’t name any names, but said a number of prominent people have come forward and volunteered to get the vaccine on-air.
‘But there are other, sort of, shall we say vaccine influencers and experts who, I think, have come forward and volunteered to participate and that would help build public confidence,’ the official said. ‘And we’re certainly considering those offers.’
The official was speaking to reporters about Tuesday’s planned White House ‘Vaccine Summit,’ which will include Trump signing an executive order prioritizing that Americans receive the COVID-19 vaccine first.
Several hours later, The New York Times reported that Pfizer – which could be the first company that sees its product get an emergency use authorization approved by the Food and Drug Administration – had offered more doses of the vaccine to the Trump administration, and the administration declined.
With Pfizer etching deals with other countries too, that could mean delays for Americans wanting product. The current deal with Pfizer is for 100 million doses, which could vaccinate 50 million Americans, as two shots are needed.
STAT also reported Monday that Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla and Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel had been invited to appear Tuesday in Washington and declined.
Pfizer and Moderna have both filed paperwork with the FDA to get emergency use authorizations for their vaccines.