Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are committed to getting their Covid-19 drugs on camera to boost public confidence in drug safety once the US Food and Drug Administration approves that one.
Those three recent presidents hope that an awareness campaign to promote self-reliance in their safety and effectiveness could be a powerful message as U.S. public health officials try to persuade the public to take the initiative.
Freddy Ford, Bush’s chief of staff, told CNN that the 43rd President has contacted Dr. Anthony Fauci – director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the country’s leading infectious disease specialist – and Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator for the White House coronavirus, to see how he can help promote a vaccine.
“A few weeks ago President Bush asked me to inform Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx that, when the time came, he wanted to do what he could to help encourage his people to get vaccinated,” Ford told CNN. “First of all, vaccines should be considered safe and given to people at the forefront. Then President Bush will get his own, and he will enjoy that on camera.”
Clinton’s news secretary told CNN on Wednesday that he too was determined to take the vaccine to the public to promote it.
“President Clinton will definitely take the vaccine as soon as it is available to her, based on the priorities set by public health officials. And she will do it in a public place if it helps to urge all Americans to do the same,” Angel Urena said.
What Did Obama Say?
Obama, in an interview with SiriusXM host Joe Madison scheduled to be released on Thursday, said that when Fauci said the coronavirus vaccine was safe, he believed in it.
“People like Anthony Fauci, whom I know, and work with, I trust completely,” Obama said. “So, if Anthony Fauci tells me this vaccine is safe, and you can be vaccinated, you know, he’ll vaccinate you in getting Covid, for sure, I’ll take it.”
“I promise you that once it is done for people at low risk, I will take it,” he said.
“I could end up taking it on TV or recording it, just so people know I trust this science, and I don’t trust finding Covid,” he added.
CNN reached out to representatives of former President Jimmy Carter to see if he would like to take the policy publicly again.
Bill Clinton’s Stance
The Bush family has a history of teaming up with other presidents to develop major causes. Bush’s father and mother, former President George HW Bush and Barbara Bush, took a commercial plane in the days following the terrorist attacks with the intention of boosting public confidence by flying again. George HW Bush and Clinton worked together to raise funds for Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and other contributing factors in the years following their presidency.
Obama now intends to use his post-Presidential foundation in a public awareness campaign.
During the interview, Obama appeared to admit to the real problem of doubting the vaccine, with some health experts worrying that it could cause fewer people – badly affected by the coronavirus – to avoid being shot.
“I understand that you know historically – everything from Tuskegee research on a regular basis – why the African American community, can be somewhat skeptical. But the fact is, vaccines are the reason why we do not have polio, the reason why we do not have all the children who die of measles and smallpox all communities and societies, “he said.
Previous studies have shown that small communities have higher mortality rates from Covid-19, which are more exposed and at greater risk in part due to pre-existing conditions.