U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams made a surprising and somewhat odd request while speaking to reporters this week. In an effort to increase the public's confidence in Pfizer and Moderna's coronavirus vaccine, he has asked NBA Finals MVP LeBron James to take the vaccine publicly.
“LeBron James, I know you’ve been a big supporter of masks. I want to know when you’re going to take the shot. [I'm] not [talking about] the basketball shot, but the COVID-19 shot. I did it because I know it’s safe and we want to make sure people understand this is how we end the pandemic," Adams said.
In recent weeks, a number of public figures have taken the vaccine publicly. President-Elect Joe Biden, Dr. Jill Biden, Dr. Anthony Fauci and National Institute of Health Director Francis Collins have all taken the vaccine in televised events. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have asked that the first round of vaccines be administered to frontline workers and elderly Americans. The Bidens, Fauci and Collins all classify as frontline workers. Furthermore, the four public figures are all over the age of 65 and considered to be first in line to get the vaccine by the CDC.
James, like most NBA players, is not considered to be frontline essential workers. The NBA has not moved to get its players vaccinated yet and will wait until more at-risk populations receive their vaccinations before doing so.
“We will wait for our turn to get the vaccine. When you think about the logistical feat that now the federal and state governments are undertaking, where if every citizen ultimately requires two doses and with a population of over 300 million, it’s beyond comprehension when you start to begin to think about the challenges of transporting and distributing this vaccine," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said.
"It’s my hope that when we are eligible that members of the NBA community will want to get vaccinated, and it’s our plan to be involved with governmental efforts in terms of public messaging as to the benefits of taking the vaccine.”
James has not responded to Adams' comments. In the meantime, he will turn his focus towards building his House 330 community center and opening the NBA regular season against the Los Angeles Clippers on December 22 at 9 p.m.
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