To date, more than 50 million Americans have received their COVID vaccinations. But only four of them had the experience of Linda Bussey, a 37-year Local 400 member and longtime shop steward who works as GM/HBC manager at Safeway in Bethesda.
On February 25, Linda received her COVID vaccine not in a grocery store, pharmacy, hospital or mass vaccination site, but in the White House. With President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Anthony Fauci and a national television audience watching.
“I was the first of four people to get their vaccine, so I came on stage first, sat down and talked with the nurse who was going to give me the shot,” Linda said. “Then, the President, Vice President and Dr. Fauci came out. President Biden came over and asked me if I’d like for him to administer the shot. I said, ‘sure!’”
After receiving her vaccine — from the nurse, not the President — Linda left the stage proudly wearing her Local 400 shirt. Other vaccinations were then given to Washington, D.C. fire fighters Gerald Bunn and Corey Hamilton, and Victoria Legerwood Rivera, a local school counselor. The event was held to commemorate the 50 million vaccination milestone.
Linda, a District of Columbia resident, felt very fortunate, not only for the once-in-a-lifetime experience of going to the White House and meeting the President of the United States, but also for the opportunity to get protected from COVID. “Some of my co-workers have been able to get vaccinations because they are offered at some other Safeway stores and we can sign up for them. It seems that D.C. is ahead of Maryland right now in offering vaccines for essential workers like us, too. In terms of protecting our members, we’re making progress, but there’s still a long way to go.
“I was just very excited to have this amazing experience,” she added. “Who would have thought? I thank everyone for this opportunity.”
Local 400 is working tirelessly to ensure that all members can receive COVID vaccines as soon as possible. For more information, please visit our COVID information center.
Watch A Video from the Event: