Social justice warriors are infecting decision-making regarding who should receive COVID-19 vaccination priority. Saving the lives of the most vulnerable is less important, they believe, than making up for past racial and socioeconomic inequities.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) convened an emergency meeting of its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) late last month in which most of the members advised that “equity” considerations should take precedence. For this reason, they believe that after vaccinating front-line health care workers and long term care facility residents, the vast group of so-called non-health service “essential workers” should be vaccinated before adults with high risk medical conditions or those most vulnerable who are over the age of 65. “Racial and ethnic minority groups are disproportionally represented in many essential industries and live in communities that are disproportionally affected; offers an opportunity to really impact equity,” the ACIP said in the summary of its minutes.
There are approximately 90 million essential workers nationwide, according to the New York Times, which referenced the definition used by a division of the Department of Homeland Security. The list is very long and, in some states, can reach as high as 75 percent of their overall worker population. In too many cases, the list includes workers whose occupations do not place them face to face with the public as potential super spreaders. Yet the ACIP thinks it is less important to save the people most likely to die from the coronavirus than so-called “essential” workers who are “disproportionally” members of racial and ethnic minority groups.
Senior Trump administration officials, including Dr. Robert Redfield, who currently leads the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, believe that the people most likely to die from the coronavirus should receive priority for vaccinations. That would include adults 65 years old and older. But even if Redfield decides not to accept the ACIP’s recommendation on the order of priority, it won’t make any difference. He is on his way out, to be replaced by Joe Biden’s candidate for the job, Dr. Rochelle Walensky. Biden’s choice has somehow managed to bring Black Lives Matter into her discussion of the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking about the lessons she learned from the pandemic, Walensky declared: “If…anything good comes out of this, and there have been some silver linings, I do think it’s the protection of our vulnerable populations, and I mean that sort of based on comorbidities, but really, more importantly, this intersection of Black Lives Matter, attention to the racial injustice, and this pandemic.”
Biden chose California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to serve as his administration’s Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary. The current HHS Secretary, Alex Azar, has spent his career working in senior healthcare leadership roles in both the public and private sectors. Becerra has no relevant healthcare experience. His claim to fame has been his resistance to President Trump, including signing on to more than 100 lawsuits against the Trump administration.
Becerra has a “health equity” model to use in his new position, which was devised in his home state of California. It focuses on the disparities COVID-19 is having on communities of color. “We want to make sure that our focus on COVID has a look at every community, regardless of skin color or wealth, and that we are concerned about equity,” Dr. Mark Ghaly, California’s health secretary, said in describing the model. We can expect Becerra to be consulting frequently with his California counterpart to ensure racial and socioeconomic equity in prioritizing the order of vaccine recipients.
Biden has also appointed members of his coronavirus advisory board who prioritize equity over age-related vulnerability to the coronavirus in determining priority for vaccination. Dr. Zeke Emanuel is probably the most well-known member of the advisory board. Emanuel, among other things, was a key architect of Obamacare. Aside from writing that he himself does not want to live beyond the age of 75 because of the infirmities of old age, Emanuel co-authored an article last September warning against “prioritization strategies, such as age-based preference, that risk widening racial and socioeconomic disparities.” The article recommended that vaccines be allocated to reduce COVID-19 disparities “commonly produced by racism.”
Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, co-chair of Biden’s advisory board, claimed recently that “We’ve had a collective witnessing as a country here in 2020 around the pervasive, deep-seated challenge of racial injustice and COVID-19 exploited that reality.” According to Nunez-Smith’s twisted way of thinking, “privileged” whites must atone for the coronavirus because it somehow “exploited” racial “injustice.”
“We cannot get this pandemic under control if we do not address head-on the issues of inequity in our country,” Nunez-Smith declared. “There is no other way.”
The only sensible way to curb the pandemic’s most deadly effects is to use health-based criteria for vaccine prioritization to save the most lives, not social justice agendas.
Each state will be making the ultimate decisions in distributing the vaccines it receives to its residents. If Oregon is any indication, racial equity will be the determining factor rather than medical need. Oregon’s COVID vaccination plan to allocate and distribute COVID-19 vaccine states that it “is grounded in a commitment to health equity, which requires an examination of how power and resources are distributed.”
Using the language of the radical left, which seems to rule Oregon these days, the plan declares that “One legacy of racism and longstanding oppression is that people of color, tribal communities and people living with intellectual, developmental and other disabilities, due to historical and current injustices, structural racism, the colonization of relationships and processes experience overall worse health outcomes.” The way to rectify these “historical and current injustices,” according to the Oregon plan, is to impose “equitable distribution or redistribution of resources and power.”
Harald Schmidt, an Assistant Professor at the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania and a member of UNESCO’s Ethics Task Force, minced no words in explaining the inhumane philosophy behind sacrificing the lives of the most vulnerable to achieve the progressive social engineer’s notion of the greater good. “Older populations are whiter, ” Schmidt said. “Society is structured in a way that enables them to live longer. Instead of giving additional health benefits to those who already had more of them, we can start to level the playing field a bit.”
This is the roadmap for how the progressive left intends to cast the horrible devastation wrought by a deadly pandemic that originated in China as another manifestation of so-called “structural racism” in the United States. The reparation for the alleged “victims” of such “structural racism,” no matter how old or healthy they may be, is to receive prioritization for vaccinations over more vulnerable elderly whites. Joe Biden is assembling a team that is supportive of this perverted radical agenda.