President Donald Trump backtracked on a plan for senior White House staff members to receive the coronavirus vaccine late Sunday evening after media outlets had reported that senior officials were to receive doses within ten days ahead of the general public.

Earlier on Sunday, a Trump administration spokesman had said that top officials in the executive, judicial and legislative branches of government would be among the first to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

However, late Sunday night, Trump reversed the plan, saying that he had asked for an “adjustment” to be made to the plans to vaccinate White House officials seeking to make health care workers and long-term facility residents being first on the list.

Trump tweeted, “People working in the White House should receive the vaccine somewhat later in the program, unless specifically necessary. I have asked that this adjustment be made. I am not scheduled to take the vaccine, but look forward to doing so at the appropriate time. Thank you!”

 

Trump’s decision comes shortly after National Security Council spokesman John Ullyot had invoked a policy directive to stress the importance of protecting those in top government positions so that the U.S. government can continue to operate during a pandemic.

Ullyot said in a Sunday evening statement that top officials would be inoculated against the virus in the vaccine’s primary rollout to ensure the health of essential employees, while citing the 2016 National Continuity Policy, which is a directive that “calls for providing [executive branch leadership] personnel with the appropriate resources to perform their prescribed continuity roles and responsibilities.”

“Senior officials across all three branches of government will receive vaccinations pursuant to continuity of government protocols established in executive policy,” he said.

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