WASHINGTON — Top U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci says President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris should be vaccinated for COVID-19 as soon as possible.
Speaking to ABC's “Good Morning America” on Tuesday, Fauci said, “For security reasons, I really feel strongly that we should get them vaccinated as soon as we possibly can." He adds he'd like to see Biden "fully protected as he enters into the presidency in January.”
Fauci says that while President Donald Trump probably still has antibodies to the virus that will protect him for at least several months, he should get the vaccine as well to be “doubly sure.” Trump was hospitalized with COVID-19 in early October.
Fauci says Vice President Mike Pence should get vaccinated, too. He says, “You still want to protect people who are very important to our country right now.”
Senior U.S. officials will begin receiving coronavirus vaccines this week as part of updated federal continuity of government plans that now include terrorism and pandemics as threats to the nation and its leaders.
The effort comes after Trump tweeted on Sunday that White House aides should receive the COVID-19 vaccine “somewhat later in the program.” Still, doses are expected to be administered at the White House, Capitol Hill and other facilities within the week, according to senior administration officials.
Trump’s statement about moving more slowly was only expected to affect priority vaccination for a small subset of the hundreds, if not more, officials who are to be inoculated with the Pfizer vaccine, which received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration on Friday.
Public distribution of the shot is initially limited to front-line health workers and people in nursing homes and long-term care facilities