Several hundred of Joe Biden’s staff have gotten the COVID vaccine already in drive to ensure everyone working at the White House is inoculated
- Hundreds of staff in office of the president have been vaccinated
- Top staff and nominees also got vaccinated in early January
- Biden received two shots before taking office
- VP Kamala Harris gets her second shot Tuesday
- Vaccines are ‘ensure a COVID-safe working environment around the president and key leaders’ plus ‘continuity of government responsibilities’
- Comes amid shortages and problems getting vaccine out in the country
- White House was site of potential superspreader events under Trump
The mass staff inoculation plan, reported by Axios, comes amid a series of reports about failing distribution plans, with many jurisdictions running out or close to running out of precious vaccine.
President Joe Biden, 78, who received two vaccine shots shortly before taking office, said he anticipates that by spring every American who wants a vaccine will be able to get one.
Joe Biden got his second dose of a vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at ChristianaCare Christiana Hospital in Newark, Delaware, U.S., January 11, 2021 before he was sworn in as president. Hundreds of staff in office of the president have been vaccinated, the White House said
Vice President Kamala Harris was to visit the N.I.H. Tuesday to get her own second dose of the Moderna vaccine.
”I think it will be this spring. I think we’ll be able to do that this spring,’ Biden said at the White House Monday. ‘But it’s going to be a logistical challenge that exceeds anything we’ve ever tried in this country.’
The White House has taken numerous steps to try to stem transmission of the virus, including continuing to have some officials work from home. Members of the White House press, who previously were screened for the virus inside the West Wing, are now being tested off site, and must do so before coming on White House grounds.
White House spokesman Kevin Munos confirmed the vaccination effort.
‘As we announced last month, approximately three dozen incoming members of the senior staff, national security team and incoming cabinet nominees received their first dose in early January,’ Munoz said.
He described the effort in part as essentially to protecting the health of the president and on continuity of government issues.
Incoming top staff got their first dose in early January. Here Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice speaks as White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki (L) looks on during the daily briefing in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC on January 26, 2021
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris receives a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at United Medical Center in Washington, U.S., December 29, 2020. She was scheduled to get her second shot Tuesday
‘The White House medical team has vaccinated several hundred additional staffers from the Executive Office of the President who are working on site every day … to ensure a COVID-safe working environment around the president and key leaders who have national security and continuity of government responsibilities,’ he said.
The move comes after the White House was the site of multiple potential super-spreader events during the Trump administration. One such event, the Sept. 26 Rose Garden event celebrating the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, also featured indoor activities where participants were unmasked. It was followed by reports of attendees who contracted COVID-19.