- Trump staffers “shamelessly” attempted to get COVID-19 vaccines amid the initial rollout, Vanity Fair reported.
- Ex-officials said the effort was like first-class passengers on the Titanic rushing to the lifeboats.
- Despite publicly flouting safeguards, one official said they wanted a vaccine to “maintain” their normal lifestyle.
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Staffers working for Trump officials who publicly flouted coronavirus health safety guidelines secretly scrambled to get a COVID-19 vaccine at the beginning of the US rollout, Vanity Fair reported.
A senior administration official told Vanity Fair that staff from across the administration had “shamelessly” attempted to jump ahead in line to get a vaccine during the chaotic distribution earlier this year.
The outlet reported that former officials likened the effort to first-class passengers aboard the Titanic shoving others out of the way to get to the lifeboats.
“The moves they were pulling were unorthodox,” the former senior administration official told Vanity Fair. “These other agencies were getting it outside of a formal interagency process.”
The secret clamber for a COVID-19 vaccine came as then-President Donald Trump tweeted in mid-December that White House staff would be vaccinated “somewhat later in the program, unless specifically necessary.”
“I have asked that this adjustment be made,” the former president tweeted. “I am not scheduled to take the vaccine, but look forward to doing so at the appropriate time. Thank you!”
The outlet reported that the effort came from “almost every stripe of political appointee, at almost every rung of the ladder,” including “representatives of cabinet secretaries to young White House desk jockeys to those prepared to leverage their connections to President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.”
Also among the group were “chiefs of staff of cabinet agencies, some of whose bosses had become notorious for publicly disregarding pandemic safeguards,” according to Vanity Fair.
One senior official said while it seemed some chiefs of staff would claim the request was made on behalf of their office staff, “their ask was not about their employees.”
Though it seemed contrary for those officials who were publicly disregarding health safety guidelines to be so concerned about getting a vaccine, the senior administration official said the vaccines would allow them to “maintain” their normal lifestyles.