White House says Trump is “open” to taking Covid vaccine


White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany speaks during a press briefing on December 15 in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany speaks during a press briefing on December 15 in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC. Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Tuesday repeated that President Trump would be open to taking the coronavirus vaccine, but would not commit to timing or getting inoculated in public to inspire confidence in its efficacy.

She also confirmed that senior administration officials will be injected with the vaccine in coming days to instill public confidence.

“(Trump) is absolutely open to taking the vaccine. He’s been emphatic about that to me privately and to you all publicly. But he did recently recover from Covid. He has the continued protective effects of the monoclonal antibody cocktail that I mentioned, and he will receive the vaccine as soon as his medical team determines it’s best,” McEnany said during a press briefing. “But his priority is frontline workers, those in long term care facilities, and he wants to make sure that the vulnerable get access first.”

Asked why Trump wouldn’t want to take the vaccine to set an example, that the vaccine is safe, and heed the advice of public health experts, McEnany said, “Because he also wants to show Americans that our priority are the most vulnerable.”

“There will be some senior administration officials taking it publicly to instill that confidence. It is very important … You’ll learn in the next few days who that is,” McEnany added. She later described the officials as “career staff” and “national security staff,” who will be vaccinated for the purposes of continuity of government, as well as a “small group” of senior administration officials.

McEnany also said she would be open to taking the vaccine as well.

The press secretary said Trump is “absolutely” encouraging Americans to get the vaccine. “He wants to see all Americans get this vaccine and he wants to see the most vulnerable among us get it first,” she said.


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