President Donald Trump insisted toward the end of his reelection campaign that a coronavirus vaccine would be developed by the end of 2020, despite derision and doubts cast by Democrats and members of the media.
Nevertheless, his predictions proved to be correct and the vaccine is already being distributed, including to the justices on the United States Supreme Court who will be among the first to receive it, The Associated Press reported.
In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Dr. Brian Monahan, the attending physician for members of Congress as well as members of the Supreme Court, said that vaccine doses would be earmarked for individuals who are needed to maintain “continuity of government operations,” including certain Capitol Hill figures as well as members of the nation’s highest court.
“My recommendation to you is absolutely unequivocal: there is no reason why you should defer receiving this vaccine,” Monahan said, according to Roll Call. “The benefit far exceeds any small risk.”
Pence receives vaccine
Monahan explained that the vaccine distribution would be held in stages among the “Capitol community.”
“Once we have completed the vaccination of the Members, we will follow a process to identify the continuity-essential staff members in the various divisions of the Capitol community in the coming weeks,” he continued.
He explained, “The appointing process will then continue until the small vaccine supply is exhausted. A second dose scheduling process will then begin later.”
Vice President Mike Pence received the vaccine on Friday in a televised appearance, the AP reported. “Karen and I wanted to step forward and take this vaccine to assure the American people that while we cut red tape, we cut no corners,” Pence said during remarks afterward.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced Thursday in a press release that she would be getting the vaccine and urged others to do the same. On Friday, the congresswoman tweeted a photo of herself receiving the vaccine.
McConnell receives vaccine
McConnell also responded with a statement Thursday announcing that he will soon receive the vaccine: “Because of government continuity requirements, I have been informed by the Office of the Attending Physician that I am eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, which I will accept in the coming days.”
He continued, “As a polio survivor, I know both the fear of a disease and the extraordinary promise of hope that vaccines bring. I truly hope all Kentuckians and Americans will heed this advice and accept this safe and effective vaccine.”
“Even with a vaccine, I will continue following CDC guidelines by wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and washing my hands frequently,” he concluded. On Friday, McConnell tweeted a photo of himself with a physician after receiving the vaccine.