Former U.S. commanders in chief Barack Obama, George Bush and Bill Clinton have committed to getting immunized against COVID on live TV to allay public doubts over the safety of new treatments, Reuters reported Friday.
In an interview with Sirius XM radio, Obama said he may end up being filmed while getting vaccinated "just so that people know that I trust this science." Obama left the White House in 2017 after serving two terms.
Many Americans are skeptical about COVID vaccines despite positive results from tests showing them to be effective.
"If Dr. Anthony Fauci tells me this vaccine is safe and can get you immunized from COVID, absolutely I will take it," HuffPost quoted Obama as saying.
Freddy Ford, Bush's chief of staff, told CNN that when the time's right "he wants to do what he can to help encourage fellow citizens to get immunized." Bush will get in line for his shot and will be happy to do so on TV, Ford said.
Clinton's news media aide Angel Urena told the news company he would "take a vaccine as soon as it is available" and do so publicly.
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter's foundation said that he and his wife supported the country's vaccine efforts.
The U.S. registered 3,000 deaths in a single day and 100,000 hospitalizations Thursday. "The reality is December and January and February are going to be rough times," Dr. Robert Redfield, chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said.
A Food and Drug Administration committee of external advisers is set to meet Dec. 10 to discuss emergency use authorization for a vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech that shows a 95% efficacy rate.