Trump Calls Off Plan for Early Vaccinations at the White House

Ralph Ellis

December 14, 2020

Editor's note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape's Coronavirus Resource Center.

President Trump tweeted Sunday night that he was reversing a directive that would have given top administration officials coronavirus vaccinations during a time when public vaccinations are limited to healthcare workers and nursing home residents.

"People working in the White House should receive the vaccine somewhat later in the program, unless specifically necessary," Trump tweeted late Sunday night. "I have asked that this adjustment be made. I am not scheduled to take the vaccine, but look forward to doing so at the appropriate time. Thank you!"

The New York Times first reported the plan to vaccinate some White House officials. It was not clear who in the administration would have gotten vaccinated.

At first, the administration defended the plan to vaccinate people working in the White House, though the CDC has advised that frontline healthcare workers and residents of long-term health care facilities be the first to get the vaccine.

"Senior officials across all three branches of government will receive vaccinations pursuant to continuity of government protocols established in executive policy," John Ullyot, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said in a statement before Trump's reversal, according to the New York Times. "The American people should have confidence that they are receiving the same safe and effective vaccine as senior officials of the United States government."

Trump himself became infected with COVID-19 in October and spent several days in the hospital recovering. Numerous other administration officials have tested positive.

Meanwhile, President-elect Joe Biden has reaffirmed that he will take the coronavirus vaccine when Dr. Anthony Fauci says it's safe, a transition official said Sunday, according to Bloomberg News.

Biden has previously said he and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will take the vaccine publicly to show their confidence in the vaccine's safe. Others who have said they'll take the vaccine include former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.

Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told MSNBC about a month ago that he would take the Pfizer vaccine if it was approved. The vaccine was approved last week and was shipped to 50 states for distribution on Sunday.


Trump Twitter

New York Times. Trump delays a plan to fast-track vaccines for White House staff members.

Bloomberg News. "Biden Will Follow Fauci's Guidance on When to Take Vaccine: Aide"

WebMD. "Fauci Will Take an Approved Pfizer COVID Vaccine"