On Tuesday, The Daily Beast reported that Pentagon officials denied a request in December to vaccinate National Guard troops for COVID-19 ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday.
"Sources said the request, made by officials in charge of planning the event, was rejected because most of the guardsmen called to help protect the inauguration fell outside of the first tier of the Department of Defense's population schema for the COVID-19 vaccine," reported Erin Blanco. "Despite the rebuff, inauguration event planners continued to press the issue, raising fears about the spread of the virus within the Capitol campus and among attendees, particularly if protesters at the event did not wear masks, officials said."
"National Guard spokespeople say they don't know how many of the guardsmen have been vaccinated," said the report. "Another official familiar with the matter, however, said some troops did receive their first shot when they showed up for duty at the Capitol. Meanwhile, dozens of National Guard troops working to help protect the inauguration have tested positive for the virus, according to a report by the Military Times."
The vaccine rollout has been dramatically behind schedule, with only a fraction of the doses administered as were planned by this point.