These politicians, health experts got COVID-19 vaccine. Will Trump get it while he's in Florida?
The vice president-slash-head of the White House Coronavirus Task Force got it.
So did the president-elect.
The vice president-elect will receive hers the week after Christmas.
How about the commander-in-chief?
Less than a week after the COVID-19 vaccine was made available, several politicians and notable health professionals have rolled up their sleeves to get it — with most of them posting photos on social media in an effort to ease the public.
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump returns home to Palm Beach. While in town for the holidays at Mar-a-Lago aka the Southern White House, Trump will likely offer seasons greetings to military service members stationed across the world, attend church services and play rounds of golf at his local club.
His visit to Mar-a-Lago comes amid a notable spike in cases since November. Florida has recorded 1.2 million cases, nearly 21,000 deaths and more than 60,000 hospitalizations since the pandemic began.
The question isn’t if the commander-in-chief will get the vaccine, but rather when. Will Trump get it while he’s here?
The White House has not said whether Trump will be vaccinated.
Here’s a list of politicians who have gotten or have pledged to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Vice President Mike Pence
In an effort to build public confidence, Vice President Mike Pence received the vaccine during a live televised event Dec. 18, telling reporters he “didn’t feel a thing.” The head of the coronavirus task force was given the recently approved vaccine by Pfizer.
"Karen and I hope this step today will be a source of confidence and of comfort to the American people," Pence said. "These days of hardship and heartbreak will, in a day not too far in the future, be put in the past."
His wife, Karen Pence, received the vaccine, too.
A day later, “SNL” spoofed the event. In its opening skit, actor Beck Bennett tells the audience, “I’m sure all Americans are excited to see me, the guy who let COVID spread everywhere, get one of the first vaccines.
”Before we begin, I just want to reassure the American people that this vaccine is completely safe and harmless. That’s why President Trump refuses to take it or talk about it.”
The skit pokes fun at Pence getting the vaccine — it’s a shot in the arm and not in the lower back.
“I didn’t feel a thing,” Bennett says to “SNL” co-star Mikey Day, who plays the health care worker administering the vaccine and reassures “Pence” that it’s safe and harmless. “No, I meant for the past four years. I haven’t felt a thing. Just kinda watched the country burn.”
President-elect Joe Biden
President-elect Joe Biden got the Pfizer vaccine Monday.
The 78-year-old Biden and his wife, Jill, each received shots at ChristianaCare Hospital in Newark, Delaware.
On Monday, he tweeted: "Today, I received the COVID-19 vaccine. To the scientists and researchers who worked tirelessly to make this possible — thank you. We owe you an awful lot. And to the American people — know there is nothing to worry about. When the vaccine is available, I urge you to take it.
In 21 days, the Bidens will receive the second part of the vaccine.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Like Pence, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, was vaccinated Dec. 18.
"Today, with confidence in science and at the direction of the Office of the Attending Physician, I received the COVID-19 vaccine," Pelosi said in a tweet. "As the vaccine is being distributed, we must all continue mask-wearing, social distancing and other science-based steps to save lives and crush the virus."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
Like Pence and Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., was vaccinated Dec. 18.
"Just received the safe, effective COVID vaccine following continuity-of-government protocols. Vaccines are how we beat this virus," McConnell said in a tweet. "Now back to continue fighting for a rescue package including a lot more money for distribution so more Americans can receive it as fast as possible."
Shortly after tweeting a photo of himself getting the vaccine, Sen. Marco Rubio, a fierce defender of Trump, got backlash on social media, namely for having criticized the COVID response from Democrats, but being among the first to get the vaccine. The Miami senator also got heat about mentioning his tan (or lack thereof) in his tweet:
“I know I looked away from the needle
And yes, I know I need a tan
But I am so confident that the #Covid19 vaccine is safe & effective that I decided to take it myself”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., got the COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 19 and explained step-by-step what to expect in a series of photos and video on social, tweeting:
"If you have any questions or unease about the COVID vaccine, I got you!
I’d *never* ask you to do something I wasn’t willing to do myself.
Yday (sic) per national security policy (PPD40), Congress began getting vaccinated.
I took the jab & am here to answer your questions. Ask away!"
Ocasio-Cortez told her 10.9 million followers on Twitter what it's like to get the vaccine and addressed other FAQs in a video tweet: "So how does a COVID mRNA vaccine work, anyway? And how does it compare to a traditional vaccine, or just getting COVID? Well, it comes down to a story of spikes & burglars Here’s a layperson stab at an explanation: (Docs, feel free to weigh in!)"
At the end of her video, she credits the background noise to her dog snoring beside her.
Dr. Anthony Fauci
Like Pence and Biden, Dr. Anthony Fauci, rolled up his sleeve in a live televised event to get the Moderna vaccine. The head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases was vaccinated Tuesday along with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.
Today represents a "profoundly significant historical moment," Fauci said, adding "bring it on," as he prepared for the shot.
Declined, for now: Sen. Rick Scott
Sen. Rick Scott declined the offer to get vaccinated by the Capitol attending physician, saying his first priority was to get it to vulnerable populations and healthcare workers. He also declined the vaccine for select members of his staff.
On Wednesday, Scott released the following statement: “I’m incredibly proud of the hard work by so many Americans that led to the development and distribution of the coronavirus vaccines this month. As we turn the corner on this pandemic, the priority must be to make sure the elderly and at-risk populations, as well as our healthcare workers, have access to the vaccine first. My staff and I will wait to get the vaccine at the appropriate time determined by our personal physicians. I’ve asked that my office’s allotment be given to vulnerable populations that need the vaccine most. I served in the Navy and I learned that it’s always important for leaders to put the troops first.”
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is expected to receive her vaccination next week after Christmas. When Biden was vaccinated, Harris retweeted him with a quote: "This is what leadership looks like."
Former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton have pledged to get the vaccine to prove it's safe and effective, and they would even potentially film themselves getting injected to build confidence, USA TODAY reported.
In an interview with SiriusXM's "The Joe Madison Show" that aired Dec. 2, Obama said, "I promise you that when it's been made for people who are less at risk, I will be taking it."
"I may end up taking it on TV or having it filmed, just so that people know that I trust this science," Obama added. “What I don’t trust is getting COVID.”
Shortly after Obama's announcement, representatives for Bush and Clinton confirmed they also would be willing to take the vaccine publicly to boost confidence.
Contributing: McKenzie Sadeghi, USA TODAY Network; Bart Jansen, John Bacon, Jorge L. Ortiz and Jessica Flores, USA TODAY; Antonio Fins and Christine Stapleton, Palm Beach Post