A critical care nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, who was the first person in the United States to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, will attend the presidential inauguration on Wednesday.
Nurse Sandra Lindsay received the country’s first dose of the Pfizer vaccine outside of clinical trials on Dec. 14 at the New Hyde Park hospital. She received her second shot earlier this month.
“I feel hopeful today, relieved,” she said after receiving the first dose on a live stream with Northwell Health officials and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “This is a special moment, a special day.”
President-elect Joseph R. Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris will be inaugurated as President and Vice President of the United States, respectively, around noon on Wednesday.
The Biden Inauguration Committee Tweeted a list of honored guests on Sunday, saying they’ll be “highlighting everyday Americans who have stepped up to serve their communities” during a “Celebrating America” program Wednesday at 8 p.m.
In addition to Lindsay, other citizens set to attend include Texan Sarah Fuller, the first woman to play and score in a Power Five college football team; 8-year-old Morgan Marsh-McGlone, of Wisconsin, who started a virtual lemonade stand and raised more than $50,000 to feed food-insecure families; UPS driver Anthony Gaskin, of Virginia; 8-year-old Cavanaugh Bell, of Maryland, who made care packages for elderly people and started a food pantry in his community; and Kindergarten teacher Mackenzie Adams, of Washington state.
Ahead of the inauguration, central Washington is an armed fortress, fenced off with razor wire and surrounded by 25,000 National Guard troops, a stark contrast to previous inaugurations, when the United States capital erupted in days of celebration.
Presidential inaugurations are normally high-security events, with metal detectors at key entry points, restricted ID-only zones, and National Guard supplementing local and federal law enforcement. But the level of precautions this year is unprecedented.
The Covid-19 pandemic had already canceled the inaugural balls. Now the National Mall is closed to the public due to threats of violence from groups who attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.