‘I Didn’t Feel a Thing’: VP Mike Pence Publicly Gets COVID Vaccine
On Friday, VP Pence became the highest ranking US official to receive the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
On Friday, Vice President Mike Pence became the highest ranking US official to receive the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. He and his wife received the vaccine in a live-television event aimed at reassuring Americans the shot is safe.
“I didn’t feel a thing. Well done,” Pence told the technicians from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center who administered his Pfizer-BioNTech shot early Friday morning.
“Hope is on the way,” Pence later added. “The American people can be confident: We have one and perhaps within hours two safe vaccines,” he added, referring to the FDA’s expected authorisation of a second vaccine by Moderna.
Conspicuously missing from the victory lap was President Donald Trump, who has remained largely out of sight five days into the largest vaccination campaign in the nation’s history.
At the vaccine event, Pence did not respond to shouted questions about why the president wasn't headlining a similar event.
According to reports, Trump's relative silence comes as he continues to stew about his defeat in the 3 November election and embraces increasingly extreme efforts to overturn the people's will.
“The president’s relatively low profile on the COVID response since the election is curious and counter to Mr Trump’s own interests,” said Gostin, a professor at Georgetown Law who focuses on public health.
Having criticised Trump's handling of the pandemic in the past, he said that Trump “deserves a great deal of credit" for Operation Warp Speed and placing a bet on two vaccines that use groundbreaking mRNA technology.
“Having exhibited leadership in the vaccines’ development, he should take great pride in publicly demonstrating his trust in COVID vaccines," he said.
“Don’t let Joe Biden take credit for the vaccines,” Trump has previously told reporters. “Don’t let him take credit for the vaccines because the vaccines were me, and I pushed people harder than they’ve ever been pushed before.”
Despite Trump's claims, FDA scientists were the ones who came up with the idea for the Operation Warp Speed, the White House-backed effort through which millions of doses of coronavirus vaccines and treatments are being manufactured even as they are still being evaluated, say reports.
“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. So, to be doubly sure, I would recommend that he get vaccinated as well as the vice president,” Dr Fauci, who has been at the forefront of America's fight against COVID-19, told ABC News.
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