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Former US presidents encourage the population to get vaccinated

Three former US presidents said they would be willing to publicly get the coronavirus vaccine once it becomes available, in order to encourage the population to inject themselves to protect themselves from a disease that has claimed more than 275,000 lives across the country.

Former President Barack Obama said during an episode of SiriusXM’s “The Joe Madison Show” on Thursday, “I promise you, once it’s available to people who are less at risk, I’ll put it on.”

“I could end up showing it on television or recording it,” Obama added, “so people know that I trust this science.”

That could take some time. The Food and Drug Administration will consider authorizing the emergency use of two vaccines, one developed by Pfizer and the other by Moderna, in the coming weeks, but current estimates project that there will be no more than 20 million doses of each vaccine available to end of the year. Each product requires two doses, which means that vaccines will be rationed in the early stages.

However, former President Bill Clinton “definitely” would be willing to get vaccinated, as soon as a vaccine “becomes available to him, based on the priorities determined by public health authorities,” said spokesman Angel Ureña.

“And he will do it in a public place if that helps all Americans do the same,” Ureña added in a statement.

Meanwhile, Freddy Ford, former President George W. Bush’s chief of staff, commented on CNN that Bush had recently asked to meet with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s infectious disease expert, and Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House response to coronavirus, to let them know that “when the time is right, he wants to do what he can to help encourage his fellow citizens to get vaccinated.”

The only other living former president, Jimmy Carter, who at 96 is the oldest former president in American history, also encouraged people to get vaccinated but did not promise to do so in public.

“Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, said today that they fully support COVID-19 vaccination efforts and are asking all who are eligible to get vaccinated as soon as it is available in their communities,” the Carter Center said in a statement.

The voices of support came as the United States recorded more than 3,100 deaths from COVID-19 in one day, beating the record set in the spring. The number of Americans hospitalized with the virus has also passed 100,000 for the first time.

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