Elderly at the Back of the Line for COVID-19 Vaccine Under Biden Presidency?
Biden’s key coronavirus advisor favors “distributive justice.”
During the presidential debate on September 29th, Joe Biden showed either how ignorant he is or his propensity to lie when he claimed that President Trump “has no plan” and “hasn’t laid out anything” in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. Many of the constructive recommendations that Biden has offered are plagiarized from what President Trump has been doing since January. Biden is way behind the curve. When Biden does deviate, it is downright scary – for example, his suggestion that he would close down the entire country again if advised to do so by health experts.
Scarier still is how Joe Biden would decide who should be at the front of the line for receiving coronavirus vaccines when they are ready to be distributed. Based on likelihood of death from the disease, the elderly should receive priority. According to CDC statistics on the percentage of Americans dying from coronavirus by age group, approximately 79% are 65 and older. President Trump has repeatedly made the most vulnerable his top priority. However, in crafting his strategy to deal with COVID-19, Joe Biden is relying on the advice of a doctor who would move the elderly towards the back of the line in the order of priority for receiving a vaccine as well as in benefiting from vital, life-saving medical equipment.
Dr. Zeke Emanuel, 63, is the most prominent member of Joe Biden’s coronavirus task force. This senior fellow at the far-left Center for American Progress, and key architect of Obamacare, doesn’t think it is worth living beyond the age of 75. Emanuel (pictured above) has written that living too long is “a loss.” Past what age does Emanuel consider living too long? “Seventy-five. That is all I want to live,” Emanuel wrote in an article for The Atlantic. That’s rich considering that the man he is advising who is running for president will turn 78 on November 20th.
Emanuel is entitled to decide for himself how long he wants to live. But the doctor Biden is listening to for COVID-19 advice is seeking to play God with the lives of others.
Emanuel was the lead author of an article published on September 11, 2020 entitled “An ethical framework for global vaccine allocation.” Emanuel embraced a so-called “Fair Priority Model” to achieve "distributive justice” in deciding who should have priority in receiving a vaccine. Emanuel’s idea of “distributive justice” would put people who have long life expectancies at the head of the line for a vaccine – in front of first responders, health care workers, and the elderly who are most at risk to die from the disease.
In another article published around the same time, Ezekiel suggested that vaccines should be allocated to reduce COVID-19 disparities “commonly produced by racism.” He added, “Disparities could be further reduced by avoiding prioritization strategies, such as age-based preference, that risk widening racial and socioeconomic disparities.” (Emphasis added)
In short, Biden’s health advisor on the coronavirus fancies himself a social engineer when it comes to people who get vaccinated first. He would prioritize racial minorities and the economically disadvantaged in the distribution of vaccines. Never mind that people 65 or over of all races and economic status are by far the most likely to die from the coronavirus without an effective vaccine or treatment.
Emanuel was also the lead author of an article published earlier in the year entitled “Fair Allocation of Scarce Medical Resources in the Time of Covid-19.”
Regarding access to medical care and resources, Emanuel would give “priority to patients likely to survive longest after treatment” – i.e., those patients with the longest life expectancies, not the elderly or patients with serious pre-existing conditions. Even when it comes to the allocation of ICU beds and ventilators needed by patients who face certain death if not treated properly, Emanuel would look first at “how long the patient is likely to live if treated — which may mean giving priority to younger patients and those with fewer coexisting conditions.” (Emphasis added)
Emanuel did not prioritize the sickest patients, regardless of age. Nor did he prioritize elderly patients and/or those with pre-existing conditions, who are the most likely to die without prompt treatment.
Incredibly, Emanuel cited “Italian guidelines that potentially assign a higher priority for intensive care access to younger patients with severe illness than to elderly patients” as a positive example to follow. Italy left many elderly people to die alone without treatment at the height of its coronavirus outbreak.
Joe Biden says that he would listen to the health professionals and scientists about the vaccine and everything else relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fine, but it is fair to ask which health professionals and other experts have his ear. With doctors like Zeke Emanuel whispering in Biden’s ear, the elderly and other individuals with serious underlying medical conditions have great reason to worry.