(CNSNews.com) – President Trump not having a coronavirus vaccination now is in line with medical advice relating to his earlier treatment for COVID-19, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Monday.
Some critics have suggested that Trump was loathe to do so, even linking it to supposed anti-vaccine sentiment.
On the day when Joe Biden was vaccinated on camera, PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff asked Fauci about the fact that Trump has not yet had the shot.
“Do you think President Trump should get a vaccination?” she asked. “He hasn’t had one yet, as far as we know.”
“There is a reason for him not to, Judy, because he received a passive transfer of monoclonal antibody when he was sick,” Fauci replied. “And that makes the level of antibody very high in your body, which can interfere with the efficacy of a vaccine.”
“So it’s recommended that if you do receive a passive infusion of monoclonal antibody that you don’t get vaccinated for about 90 days.”
Fauci said Trump was still within that 90-day period.
“I think sooner or later he should ultimately get vaccinated, but the fact that he’s not vaccinated now I think is not inappropriate,” he said. “I think it goes along with the recommendations of when someone should be vaccinated.”
Trump received the then-experimental Regeneron therapy on October 2, 81 days ago. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on November 21 approved the treatment for people not hospitalized with COVID-19, but at high risk.
Vice President Mike Pence, who leads the White House coronavirus task force, was the first senior administration official to receive the vaccine, on live television on Friday.
Second Lady Karen Pence, Surgeon General Jerome Adams, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are also among those to have also done so on camera. Fauci confirmed he is due to get the shot on Tuesday.
The fact that Trump has not has drawn scrutiny in some quarters.
“The president appears caught between his desire to claim credit for the swift rollout of vaccines and his long history of amplifying vaccine conspiracy theories,” opined one Los Angeles Times story on Monday. “After having spent much of the pandemic undermining public health experts, he finds himself unable, or unwilling, to take the leadership mantle at this breakthrough moment.”
Meanwhile Biden’s willingness to have the vaccine on camera, it said, “gave the president-elect another opportunity to reinforce his point that his administration would embrace science.”
During a CNN appearance on Friday, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman aired a “theory.”
“I have a theory, John [Berman], and again, it’s a theory, but I don’t think that he wants to be jabbed with a needle on live television,” she said. “I just don’t. I think that he considers that to be some kind of an act of weakness.”
In a recent Gallup poll, 63 percent of respondents (75 percent of Democrats, 50 percent of Republicans) indicated a willingness to get an FDA-approved, free COVID-19 vaccine. That was up from a 50 percent low in September, recorded by Gallup shortly after the trials of one of the candidate vaccines, being developed by AstraZeneca, were suspended due to adverse reactions in some participants.
The two vaccines approved for emergency use by the FDA, developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, have reported more than 95 percent effectiveness in phase three trials against the coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, China late last year.
Over the weeks since FDA approval, Trump has tweeted enthusiastically a number of times about the vaccines:
--Dec. 12: FDA APPROVES PFIZER VACCINE FOR EMERGENCY USE!!!
--Dec. 13: 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. Thank you
--Dec. 14: First Vaccine Administered. Congratulations USA! Congratulations WORLD!
--Dec. 17: All-time Stock Market high. The Vaccine and the Vaccine rollout are getting the best of reviews. Moving along really well. Get those “shots” everyone!
--Dec. 18: Moderna vaccine overwhelmingly approved. Distribution to start immediately.
--Dec. 18: THANK YOU to the GREAT men and women of @FedEx and @UPS for driving through the storms this week to deliver millions of doses of the vaccine across the country. Two Great American Companies!
--Dec. 18: Congratulations, the Moderna vaccine is now available!
--Dec. 21: … the Moderna vaccine has already started rolling out. Very smooth distribution!