United States President-elect Joe Biden will receive his first dose of the coronavirus vaccine on Monday, his press secretary announced, as Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Meitch McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi became the highest-ranking government officials to receive their doses on Friday.
Biden’s incoming press secretary, Jen Psaki, on Friday said that Biden’s wife Jill, will also be getting an injection on Monday and that Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, are expected to receive their doses the week after next.
Psaki told reporters that Biden would be receiving the shot in public, as Pence did, in an effort event aimed at reassuring Americans the shot is safe.
President Donald Trump, who frequently downplayed the severity of the virus and feuded with his top public health officials, has so far largely remained out of sight five days into the largest vaccination campaign in the nation’s history – one that could eventually put an end to the raging coronavirus pandemic.
He has held no public events to trumpet the roll-out and he has not been inoculated himself. But he has tweeted fewer than a handful of times about the shot.
White House Deputy Press Secretary Brian Morgenstern said on Friday that the president, who contracted the disease back in October, is currently discussing with his medical team the appropriate time to get vaccinated and that the president is “perfectly willing” to take it.“
“There are medical professionals I think providing advice, and there’s some public reporting on that that says that for someone who’s recently recovered and had the antibodies, it may not be as immediate a need for that person to be vaccinated,” Morgenstern told reporters.
Pence, meanwhile, has taken an increasingly visible role in highlighting the safety and efficacy of the shots, including touring a vaccine production facility this week.
The top two leaders in the US Congress, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, also received COVID-19 vaccinations Friday.