U.S. president Donald Trump announced on Sunday night that senior White House staff would no longer be prioritized for the coronavirus vaccines. This announcement came hours after a report by the New York Times said that the vaccine would be widely distributed to senior White House staff first even though it should initially go to health care workers who are at a higher risk overall.
It’s important to note that President Trump tested positive for COVID-19 back in October and was able to recover without a vaccine thanks to the hard work of the medical team at the hospital that he was admitted in. While President Trump has since expressed his willingness to get the vaccine when it’s available, he doesn’t plan to do so right away.
President Trump announced in the statement that White House senior staff would get the vaccine at a later stage of the roll-out unless extenuating circumstances prevail and that essential workers would be placed at the front of the line at this time.
As of now, it’s hard to say why President Trump has chosen to make these changes for this particular policy so that it favors essential health care workers instead of senior White House staff as initially planned. With that said, other reports state that senior members of staff in the White House are scheduled to receive the vaccine as soon as it’s released, perhaps because they work in such close proximity to the president.
Those within the inner sanctum of the West Wing state that this news comes as a relief to certain White House staff members who felt that the optics just wouldn’t look good if they were to get the vaccine shot ahead of essential health care workers, especially since president Trump has already recovered from the virus, giving him a certain level of immunity, at least for several months according to the latest science data.
The distribution process for the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech is set to start as early as this Sunday at the company’s distribution facility in Michigan. Both FedEx and UPS are going to work together to ensure that all of the available doses will be shipped in a timely manner.
According to a representative for former Vice President Joe Biden, Biden plans to get the vaccine publicly in order to show people that it’s safe to do so. Biden also plans to meet with Dr. Anthony Fauci who has been leading the charge from the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.