House and Senate lawmakers receive COVID-19 vaccine to ensure ‘continuity of government’

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – House and Senate lawmakers have been among the first group of people to receive the COVID19 vaccine.

They join front line healthcare workers and the nation’s most vulnerable population in doing so.

Washington Correspondent Morgan Wright reports lawmakers say they’re at the front of the line for vaccines to ensure continuity of government.

{Congressman Jamie Raskin, D/MD} “I got it in my left arm on Friday.”

Maryland Congressman Jamie Raskin says the minute the Capitol Physician offered the COVID-19 vaccine to lawmakers, he jumped at the opportunity.

{Congressman Jamie Raskin, D/MD} “It’s necessary for continuity of government.”

Raskin joined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other congressional leaders in receiving the Pfizer vaccine.

{Congressman Jamie Raskin, D/MD} “My job has been to go be there often when Speaker Pelosi couldn’t be in town.”

It’s unclear if all 535 members of Congress will take the vaccine.

And some lawmakers have criticized their colleagues for getting the shot ahead of the nation’s most at risk populations.

{Congressman Tom Reed, R/NY} “Should we be at the front of the line? No.”

But New York Congressman Tom Reed says lawmakers have important work to do on COVID relief and other issues.

{Congressman Tom Reed, R/NY} “But we should be in the line so that we can continue to do the job.”

Reed says the vaccine ensures lawmakers can do their essential work safely.

Maryland Senator Ben Cardin says it’s critical for political leaders to convince Americans that the vaccine is safe and effective.

{Senator Ben Cardin, D/MD} “We want the vaccine to be taken.”

{President-Elect Joe Biden} “There’s nothing to worry about.”

President-elect Joe Biden, and Vice President Mike Pence were among VIPs to get the vaccine live, on camera.

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy says the White House should do more to set an example.

{Senator Chris Murphy, D/CT} “The President and his top staff should get the vaccine ASAP.”

President Trump has so far opted not to take the vaccine and says he will do so at the appropriate time.

Reporting in Washington I’m Morgan Wright.

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