"There's a whip effect," said Joel White, a Republican strategist focused on health policy. “If Trump makes a big stink out there about people getting the vaccine and needing it, I could see Democrats being turned off – and blacks and Latinos in particular. But if he doesn't do anything, Trump supporters may not be vaccinated because they would see that as a sign. "
Since the president had Covid-19 he should technically be at the back of the line of people waiting to be shot, but the sight of him being injected could be useful. At the White House, officials said it "certainly will be considered" for Mr Trump to take the vaccine publicly, although they stated that it might not affect public opinion as people know he has recovered. (Experts say those who survived Covid-19 may be at risk of re-infection and could benefit from vaccination.)
Dr. For his part, Fauci intends to "be publicly vaccinated," he said Friday, "as soon as the vaccine is available to me" in order to increase public support. Vice President Mike Pence's advisors are considering when and how he will be vaccinated, and whether he would do so publicly.
Trump's three presidential predecessors – Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton – have all announced that they are ready to be vaccinated on camera. In 2009, Mr. Obama and his wife, Michelle, publicly revealed that they were getting vaccinated against the H1N1 influenza virus and waited for the children to receive the vaccine.
"People need to understand that this vaccine is safe," Obama said at the time. A photo was posted on the White House website of him rolling up his sleeve to be shot.
Mr. Biden is already using his platform to encourage Americans to get vaccinated.
"I want to make it clear to the public: You should be able to trust it," he said Friday at an event in Wilmington, Del. “There is no political influence. These are top notch scientists who take the time to look at all of the elements that need to be considered. Scientific integrity has led us to this point. "
Dr. David A. Kessler, a former Food and Drug Administration commissioner who advises the president-elect on the pandemic, said in an interview that the Biden team is working with medical organizations and other groups to find "the most creative." transparent and effective ways to educate the public, including using a number of respected voices – both local and national.