Vice President Mike Pence is expected to receive a COVID-19 vaccine live on television Friday, media outlets reported.
Axios reported the news Wednesday, citing an administration official with knowledge of the situation. Earlier, CNN reported that Pence was “likely” to receive the vaccine by Friday, according to two sources.
The White House did not immediately return a request for comment.
Pence will receive the vaccine on air to build “vaccine confidence” among Americans, Axios reported. Various polls show that 20% to 40% of Americans won’t commit to getting the vaccine, though those numbers have been on the rise in recent months.
Pence is reportedly receiving the vaccine after nine months of standing by President Donald Trump and his pandemic response, which has largely consisted of downplaying the severity of the disease, dismissing the need for basic safety measures, pushing dangerous treatment ideas and refusing to issue a comprehensive federal response.
Pence, too, has pushed misleading talking points about the disease while leading the White House’s coronavirus task force. On a call with governors in June, he downplayed increases in COVID-19 diagnoses in some regions as simply “intermittent” spikes and claimed higher figures were merely a result of increased testing.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said earlier Wednesday that Trump is open to taking the coronavirus vaccine, but she would not commit to him doing it in public. Trump has already been infected with the coronavirus.
Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton pledged earlier this month to get the COVID-19 vaccination live on TV to encourage other Americans to be inoculated.
A HuffPost Guide To Coronavirus
- How long does it take for the coronavirus vaccine to work?
- Which masks will actually keep your face warm this winter?
- Can you close your COVID “bubble” without losing friends forever?
- How will spending the holidays in quarantine affect our mental health?
- What happens to all those face masks and gloves we’re tossing in the trash?
- Find all that and more on our coronavirus hub page.
As COVID-19 cases rise, it’s more important than ever to remain connected and informed. Join the HuffPost community today. (It’s free!)