Dr. Fauci Says Biden, Harris, Trump and Pence Should Get COVID Vaccine ‘as Soon as We Possibly Can’
Dr. Anthony Fauci says that President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as well as President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence should all receive a COVID-19 vaccination “as soon as we possibly can.”
Fauci, 79, gave his latest advice Tuesday morning on Good Morning America — one day after the first vaccinations for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) were administered in the U.S., with doses being given in priority order.
“This is a person who very soon will be the president of the United States, and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will very soon be the vice president of the United States,” Fauci said. “For security reasons, I really feel strongly that we should get them vaccinated as soon as we possibly can.”
Biden, 78, is also in a higher-risk category for COVID-19 due to his age.
“You want [Biden] fully protected as he enters into the presidency in January, so that would be my strong recommendation," said Fauci, who is the nation’s leading expert on infectious disease and a key member of the White House coronavirus task force.
Fauci also told GMA anchor George Stephanopoulos that he would recommend Trump and Pence also receive a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible.
“You still want to protect people who are very important to our country right now,” he said.
The White House said last week that the decision about Trump, 74, taking the vaccine — and taking it on camera — was still an “open question,” because the president already contracted the virus in October and subsequently recovered after being hospitalized.
“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,” a senior administration official previously told reporters.
“But he's expressed his willingness,” the official said of Trump.
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Cases in which people have contracted the coronavirus twice are rare but not unheard of, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it’s still studying the likelihood of reinfection.
Because of the uncertainty about the novel virus and the respiratory illness it causes, Fauci said this week Trump, 74, should consider taking the vaccine to be certain he’s protected.
“Even though the president himself was infected and he has, likely, antibodies that likely would be protective, we’re not sure how long that protection lasts,” Fauci said. “To be doubly sure, I would recommend that he get vaccinated as well as the vice president.”
The U.S. is currently experiencing one of the most aggressive phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 200,000 reported cases per day in the last week, according to a New York Times tracker.
More than 300,000 people have died from the virus in the U.S., while the Times reports more than 16.5 million people have been confirmed to be infected this year.
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