CORONAVIRUS

No coronavirus vaccination 'frontsies' for Sen. Chuck Grassley

He is not seeking preferential treatment, his office says

In this Oct. 12, 2020, file photo, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, listens during a confirmation hearing for Supreme Court
In this Oct. 12, 2020, file photo, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, listens during a confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett before the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Grassley, the longest-serving Republican senator, quarantined after being exposed to the coronavirus and has since returned to the Capitol. Grassley is 87. H (Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP)

Although he is president pro tempore of the Senate and third in line of presidential succession, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, won’t be cutting in line to get a COVID-19 vaccination.

According to the National Security Council, senior officials from the executive, judicial and legislative branches of the federal government will be given priority status for COVID-19 vaccines as part of continuity-of-government planning.

A spokesperson for Grassley said Monday the senator’s office has not received information about a Senate vaccination program.

“Sen. Grassley plans to take the vaccine when it’s his turn to do so,” the spokesperson said. “He will not be asking for preferential treatment.”

Grassley, 87, isolated at his Washington-area residence after a positive coronavirus test Nov. 17. He returned to work at the Capitol after Thanksgiving.

Members of Congress said it isn’t clear who would get priority for the vaccinations. As with the public, many senators and representatives would qualify for preference based on age and underlying health conditions, said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who is 81.

There also is a discussion about whether members of Congress should receive vaccinations in Washington or in the states they represent.

Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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