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COVID-19 WATCH

Ex-U.S. presidents, Biden ready to receive vaccine

I promise you that when it’s been made for people who are less at risk, I will be taking it.

Agence France-Presse

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FORMER United States presidents (from left) George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton are volunteering to take a coronavirus vaccine on camera if it will help promote public confidence. / JIM CHAPIN/Agence France-Presse

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Former US presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton as well as President-elect Joe Biden are volunteering to take a coronavirus vaccine on camera if it will help promote public confidence.

Obama, in an interview with SiriusXM radio, said he would be inoculated if top US infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci signs off on a Covid-19 vaccine.

“If Anthony Fauci tells me this vaccine is safe, and can vaccinate, you know, immunize you from getting Covid, absolutely, I’m going to take it,” Obama said.

“I promise you that when it’s been made for people who are less at risk, I will be taking it,” he said.

“I may end up taking it on TV or having it filmed, just so that people know that I trust this science and what I don’t trust is getting Covid,” Obama said.

Freddy Ford, Bush’s chief of staff, told CNN the former president also wanted to help promote vaccination.

“First, the vaccines need to be deemed safe and administered to the priority populations,” Ford told CNN.

“Then, president Bush will get in line for his, and will gladly do so on camera.”

Angel Urena, Clinton’s press secretary, told CNN the former president would also be up for getting a vaccine in public on television.

Later in the day, Biden told CNN in an interview that he, too, would be willing to be vaccinated in public after government approval of vaccines, specifically saying he would rely on Fauci to say it was safe.

“It’s important to communicate to the American people it’s safe,” the 78-year-old said. “It’s safe to do this.”

He also lauded the three former presidents for their commitment, saying they had “set the model as to what should be done.”

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