As news continues to emerge about the availability of COVID-19 vaccines, three former American presidents plan to get inoculated on camera once a vaccine is deemed safe and effective and authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, CNN reports.
In this show of confidence for the vaccine, the trio’s goal is to encourage Americans to get vaccinated too.
According to George W. Bush’s chief of staff, Freddy Ford, the 43rd president contacted Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Deborah Birx, MD, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, to discuss how he could help promote the vaccine to the public.
“First, the vaccines need to be deemed safe and administered to the priority populations,” Ford told CNN. “Then, President Bush will get in line for his and will gladly do so on camera.”
Bill Clinton and Barack Obama also expressed interest in getting their COVID-19 shots on camera.
“President Clinton will definitely take a vaccine as soon as available to him, based on the priorities determined by public health officials,” his press secretary, Angel Ureña, told CNN.
During an interview with SiriusXM host Joe Madison, Obama said that if Fauci endorsed the safety of a coronavirus vaccine he would believe him. Obama, who has worked with the doctor in the past, said he trusts Fauci completely.
“I promise you that when it’s been made for people who are less at risk, I will be taking it,” Obama said. “I may end up taking it on TV or having it filmed, just so that people know that I trust this science and what I don’t trust is getting COVID.”
Also acknowledging why many minorities may not want to get a COVID-19 vaccine, Obama noted that vaccines are responsible for the eradication of polio and the reason why kids aren’t dying of measles, smallpox and other once deadly illnesses. Studies show that African Americans, Asians and Hispanics are more likely to be affected by COVID-19 than whites, but many are hesitant about the vaccines.
In addition, former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Roslynn, also expressed their full support of COVID-19 vaccines. The two urged everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated as soon as vaccines become available in their communities, according to a statement released on Twitter by The Carter Center.
Statement on vaccines from The Carter Center: pic.twitter.com/GOYgpa9fdD— The Carter Center (@CarterCenter) December 3, 2020
For related coverage, read “Health Workers, Long-Term Care Residents Should Get First COVID-19 Vaccines” and “Black Doctors Urge African Americans to Take Future COVID-19 Vaccine.”