Tentative plans are being made for Pence to receive it on camera.
Earlier Tuesday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany repeated that Trump would be open to taking the coronavirus vaccine, but would not commit to the timing or the President being 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.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci would recommend that both Trump and Pence receive the Covid-19 vaccine, which has been approved for emergency use authorization and is being rolled out nationwide.
“You still want to protect people who are, you know, very important to our country right now,” Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Tuesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “Even though the President himself was infected and he has likely antibodies that likely would be protective, we’re not sure how long that protection lasts.”
“I would recommend that he get vaccinated, as well as the vice president,” Fauci added.
Fauci also said he feels strongly that President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris should be vaccinated “as soon as we possibly can.”
“You want him fully protected as he enters into the presidency in January,” Fauci said of Biden. “So that would be my strong recommendation.”
The Biden transition team expects to announce “soon” when Biden and Harris will receive Covid-19 vaccines, a transition official said.
Trump administration officials have discussed how and when Trump might receive a coronavirus vaccine, but haven’t yet made a decision on scheduling his shot, according to a person familiar with the plan.
When 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.
Most of the West Wing was slated to be vaccinated until the President announced he was rescinding that plan once it became public. White House officials have described it as a difficult position because they are torn between wanting to instill public confidence in the vaccine by taking it but also not be seen as jumping the line, given the limited supply.
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.
CNN’s Veronica Stracqualursi contributed to this report.