Pushing back on the disgusting optics of Washington politicians jumping the line for the coronavirus vaccine, independent-minded Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) said this week that she’ll only get the vaccine after the most vulnerable people in America have had a chance to get inoculated. Gabbard, who has made a name for herself as an iconoclast within the Democratic Party, also took a moment to criticize the CDC for giving priority to “essential workers” over the elderly.
“Heartless, arrogant, unelected CDC bureaucrats have decided that the lives of elderly Americans don’t count,” Gabbard tweeted Monday. “They’re recommending 100 million ‘essential workers’ (i.e. healthy people working at liquor stores or phone companies) can get the vaccine before our grandparents.
“This is immoral and bad health policy,” she continued. “I had planned to get the vaccine but will now stand in solidarity with our seniors by not doing so until THEY can. I urge my colleagues who are under 65 and healthy to join me.”
Gabbard’s commentary on essential workers is not entirely accurate; there was a strong wave of support inside the CDC for giving the vaccine to these workers before the elderly, but they finally settled on a compromise where both groups would receive the vaccine simultaneously.
However, that doesn’t change the fact that their reasoning behind initially wanting to prioritize the workers was that America’s elderly are overwhelmingly white and the essential workers are largely people of color. This was among the most racist policies we’ve ever seen from the federal government, and the fact that this proposal was entertained for even a day is shocking and disgusting.
Vaccines for Washington politicians have proven divisive. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) quickly made it known where he stands, tweeting out, “I’m with you, Tulsi!” Meanwhile, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) was one of the first in line for the shot, filming her vaccination for her online followers.
That puts her at odds with her Squad-mate, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN). After left-wing writer Anand Giridharadas tweeted, “Serious question: Is seemingly our entire top political leadership getting the vaccine ahead of others because of their age or their importance?”, Omar replied, “It would makes sense if it was age, but unfortunately it’s of importance and its shameful. We are not more important then frontline workers, teachers etc. who are making sacrifices everyday. Which is why I won’t take it. People who need it most, should get it. Full stop.”
With the vaccine controversy and the COVID bill, we’ve seen more Republicans and Democrats join hands in bashing the Washington establishment than we’ve seen in years. Could be that Joe Biden and the Swamp will get the “unity” they wanted after all.
Careful what you wish for…