Bidens Get Coronavirus Vaccine in Bid to Boost Public Confidence

President-Elect Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, received the coronavirus vaccine on Monday, joining a list of U.S. political leaders who’ve sought to boost public confidence in the shot.

Joe Biden received the first of a two-shot regimen at a public event at ChristianaCare Hospital in Wilmington, Delaware, on Monday. Jill Biden got the vaccine earlier in the day. Both received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Bidens Get Coronavirus Vaccine in Bid to Boost Public Confidence

“We owe these folks an awful lot, the scientists and the people who put this together, the frontline workers,” Biden said.

He also said that the Trump administration “deserves some credit, getting this off the ground, Operation Warp Speed,” referring to the White House plan to speed vaccine development. “I also think it’s worth saying this is great hope,” he added, before reminding people to wear masks and not travel for the holidays.

Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have also publicized their vaccinations as polls show doubts among Americans about its efficacy.

President Donald Trump has not received it, hasn’t said when he will and has been all but absent from the public events around the distribution of the first two vaccines to receive emergency use authorization.

The U.S. has recorded almost 18 million cases of the coronavirus, and over 317,000 deaths, with one American dying from the virus every 41 seconds over the past month.

Biden has made coronavirus relief a pillar of his campaign and transition, while signaling it will be a core focus of his presidency. He’s pledged to require masks in federal jurisdictions and work with governors and mayors to boost mask-wearing in their communities.

Biden has also warned that vaccinations will move more slowly than the Trump administration has indicated. Vivek Murthy, who Biden has picked to serve as surgeon general, said Sunday that the vaccine won’t likely be widely available to Americans before summer or even fall.

“If everything goes well, then we may see a circumstance where by late spring, you know, people who are in lower-risk categories can get this vaccine, but that would really require everything to go exactly on schedule,” Murthy said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet The Press.”

“I think it’s more realistic to assume that it may be closer to mid-summer or early fall when this vaccine makes its way to the general population,” he said. “So, we want to be optimistic, but we want to be cautious as well.”

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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