Jumat, 18 Desember 2020

Mike Pence receives COVID-19 vaccine on live television from White House to reassure Americans it is safe - ABC News

US Vice-President Mike Pence has been vaccinated for COVID-19 in a live-television event aimed at reassuring Americans the vaccine is safe.

In remarks after his shot, Mr Pence called the speed with which the vaccine was developed "a medical miracle."

"The American people can be confident: we have one and, perhaps within hours, two" safe vaccines," Mr Pence said.

"Building confidence in the vaccine is what brings us here this morning."

Mr Pence's wife Karen and US surgeon-general Jerome Adams also received shots during the televised White House event.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell both said on Thursday (local time) that they will get vaccinated in the next few days.

President Donald Trump's administration helped deliver vaccinations against the coronavirus earlier than even some in his administration thought possible, launching Operation Warp Speed — the Government campaign to help swiftly develop and distribute vaccines — earlier this year with great fanfare in the White House Rose Garden.

But five days into the largest vaccination campaign in the nation's history, Mr Trump has held no public events to trumpet the roll-out. He hasn't been inoculated himself. He has tweeted only twice about the shot.

Mr Pence, meanwhile, has taken centre stage — touring a vaccine production facility this week and receiving a dose himself on live television Friday morning.

A man wearing a mask receives a vaccination from a woman.
US surgeon-general Jerome Adams also received the vaccine in the televised event.(AP: Andrew Harnik)

Mr Trump's sheepish approach has been surprising, especially for a president rarely shy to take credit, said Lawrence Gostin, a professor at Georgetown Law who focuses on public health.

"The President's relatively low profile on the COVID response since the election is curious and counter to Mr Trump's own interests," he said.

Mr Gostin, who has criticised Mr Trump's handling of the pandemic in the past, said that he "deserves a great deal of credit" for Operation Warp Speed and placing a bet on two vaccines that use ground-breaking mRNA technology.

"Having exhibited leadership in the vaccines' development, he should take great pride in publicly demonstrating his trust in COVID vaccines," he said.

Mr Trump has tried to minimise any credit that might go to his successor, president-elect Joe Biden, who will preside over the bulk of the nationwide injection campaign next year.

Mr Biden expects to receive his shot as soon as next week.

There are fears Mr Trump's low-key approach could have an impact on public health.

Dr Fauci told NBC News this week that 75 per cent to 85 per cent of the nation needs to be vaccinated to achieve "herd immunity," making the public education campaign about the vaccine's safety all the more pressing.

A survey from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that only about half of Americans want to get the vaccine as soon as possible.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters this week that Mr Trump, who has previously spread misinformation about other vaccines, was trying to send a message about priorities by delaying his own inoculation.

"The president wants to send a parallel message which is, you know, our long-term care facility residents and our front-line workers are paramount in importance," she said.

Presidents and their family members have often made a display of their vaccinations to boost public confidence.

President Dwight Eisenhower highlighted that one of his grandchildren was among the first wave of American children vaccinated for polio. In 2009, President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, vaccinated both their young daughters, who were in a higher risk group, for the swine flu.


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2020-12-18 14:26:00Z

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