President-elect Joe Biden says he will get vaccinated for COVID-19 if Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says it is safe to be a model for the nation and help boost confidence in the vaccine.
In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Thursday, Biden said, “It matters what a president and a vice president do. And so I think that my three predecessors have set the model as to what should be done.”
“Saying, once it’s declared to be safe … I think what [former President Barack Obama] said, once Fauci says it’s clear — that’s my measure — then obviously we take it,” he said.
He added, “It’s important to communicate to the American people it’s safe. It’s safe to do this.”
Watch the video below:
In a CNN exclusive, Biden says he will take the COVID vaccine as a model to the nation, and that he spoke to Dr. Fauci today:— The Recount (@therecount) December 3, 2020
"I asked him to stay on in the exact same role he has had for the past several presidents. And I asked him to be chief medical adviser for me." pic.twitter.com/Ug1l5yzihN
Biden has previously said that increased scrutiny around a vaccine developed under Trump is “necessary” because the president “doesn’t have any respect for scientists.”
He said that if scientists say the vaccine is safe, then he would get vaccinated. During a town hall event in October, he said, “The point is, that if the body of scientists say that this is ready to be done, and it’s been tested, they’ve gone through the three phases, yes I would take it and I’d encourage people to take it.”
He also previously said that if Fauci said the vaccine is safe, he would be “first in line to take it.”
In November, Pfizer and Moderna announced that their coronavirus vaccine trials were more than 90% effective, and both companies have applied for emergency use authorizations from the Food and Drug Administration.
And Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said coronavirus vaccines could be authorized and ready for distribution by Christmas.
Fauci has also projected confidence in the vaccine development process, as he said, “The process of the speed did not compromise at all safety nor did it compromise scientific integrity.”
“It was a reflection of the extraordinary scientific advances in these types of vaccines which allowed us to do things in months that actually took years before. So, I really want to settle that concern that people have about that,” he added.
Biden is not alone in saying he would get vaccinated to help boost confidence in the vaccine. Former Presidents Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton have said they would be willing to publicly take the vaccine to encourage the American public to get vaccinated.