Donald Trump doesn’t really have much of a sense of the appropriate or compassion for others, but even he realized last night that it wasn’t a good idea for him to have prioritized White House staffers being put to the front of the line for the coronavirus vaccine.
On Sunday the New York Times reported that National Security Council spokesperson John Ullyot had issued a statement indicating that “senior officials across all three branches of government will receive vaccinations pursuant to continuity of government protocols established in executive policy.”
That declaration came as video of plane loads of the Pfizer vaccine began fanning out across the country, destined for the arms of front line health care workers and residents of senior living facilities. With the vaccine in relatively short supply it wasn’t a good look for people in Trump’s White House, who have routinely flouted guidelines for containing the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. The White House and State Department continue to hold mostly mask-less holiday parties in violation of District of Columbia orders that prohibit indoor gatherings of more than 10 people.
Thus, it was a bit of a surprise that Trump tweeted late last night, “People working in the White House should receive the vaccine somewhat later in the program, unless specifically necessary. I have asked that this adjustment be made. I am not scheduled to take the vaccine, but look forward to doing so at the appropriate time.”
CNN reported that health care providers at the National Institutes of Health will begin receiving the vaccine in the near future. Doctors and nurses in the intensive care unit at the NIH Clinical Center will be prioritized to receive the vaccine first. Other top officials, like Dr. Anthony Fauci, are on the list to receive the vaccine following those staffers who rank higher on the priority list.