Why The Timing Of White House Vaccines Has Twitter Seeing Red

Trouble is brewing in the Twitterverse over the White House vaccination program. This newest burst of social media outrage comes as the United States government embarks on one of the largest vaccine campaigns in history. As of December 14, 2020, NPR reports that Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine made it to 55 sites across the country. NBC, meanwhile, interviewed a handful of the first Americans to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. “I feel like healing is coming. I hope this marks the beginning of the end of a very painful time in our history,” Long Island Jewish Medical Center nurse Sandra Lindsay told the news source.

Healing, at least emotionally, may take longer to come than Lindsay expects. Not because some in the country are having doubts about taking the vaccine, but because of the way the White House originally planned to roll out its vaccination program. As it stands, Kayleigh McEnany is reporting that the White House has distributed 2.9 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, presumably to first responders. We say “presumably” because The New York Times alleges that the Trump administration originally panned to dole out vaccines to itself first. An anonymous White House insider defended this move to The Washington Post as “a necessary resource for those continuity personnel across the executive branch to meet their continuity-focused roles and responsibilities.” Social media, however, wasn’t buying it.

Twitter blows up over White House's COVID-19 vaccine program

Twitter’s condemnation of the Trump administration’s proposed vaccine schedule was swift and brutal. “Is this the political equivalent of ‘captain and officers first to the lifeboats, women and children can wait?,” fumed BBC journalist, Jon Sopel. NBC News historian, Michael Beschloss, angrily wrote: “Daily Covid deaths are higher than ever. Thanks for everything.” Actress and comedian Aisha Tyler didn’t mince words, either: “What a burning pile of narcissistic self-preserving garbage,” she spat. Former National Security Council spokesman for President Obama, Tommy Vietor had other concerns: “Is the covid vaccine being given to @JoeBiden immediately?,”  he queried, “certainly the president-elect needs it more than a bunch of lame duck Trump staffers who have fumbled this response. “

There’s no word yet as to when Biden or his future administration will be getting vaccinated, although AP also reports that Dr. Anthony Fauci is calling for the President-elect and his Vice President-elect, Kamala Harris, to be vaccinated as soon as possible. Meanwhile, President Trump took to Twitter in the middle of the storm and walked back on his administration’s plans. “People working in the White House should receive the vaccine somewhat later in the program, unless specifically necessary,” he tweeted, “I have asked that this adjustment be made.”

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