The inmates are running the asylum after all.
With one coronavirus vaccine approved in the U.S. (and a second approval likely coming soon), there’s a logistical challenge in determining who to give the vaccine to first. It’ll take months before everyone who wants one can take one, and common sense would suggest those most venerable to the virus (the elderly and those with preexisting conditions) getting treated first. For perspective, the coronavirus death rate for those under the age of 19 is only about 1 in 33,000, but it’s 1 in 18 for those above age 70.
But apparently in today’s day and age, that’s a controversial statement because the elderly don’t have the preferred skin complexion while also being the most venerable to a deadly virus.
As Lee Fang, a right-of-woke journalist on the political left noticed, the CDC’s guidelines for vaccine priority put first 87 million non-healthcare “essential workers” ahead of the elderly…. because the elderly are too white. Fortunately the guidelines are nonbinding – but many will still obey them regardless.
The CDC guidelines are nonbinding but are used by states to set the distribution of the vaccine. Those w/lobbyists and organized advocacy are pushing to be counted as “essential workers.” The elderly and less well resourced workers may be out of luck. https://t.co/EXvKq4kx7W
— Lee Fang (@lhfang) December 18, 2020
As a slide from a CDC document on the distribution of coronavirus vaccines shows, while the elderly do have the highest incidence and mortality from the virus, minority groups are under-represented among those age 65+. The CDC is working off of three ethnical principles in their decisions for prioritizing vaccine distribution; maximizing benefits and minizine harms (good!), promoting justice (huh?), and mitigating health inequalities. To maximize benefits and minimize harm would mitigate health inequalities the most, but that’s apparently lost on the social justice warriors in medicine, who view everything through the prism of race.
Bear in mind, this is a “concern” in the report despite the CDC’s own data showing that prioritizing those age 65 and older for the vaccine would save the most lives. Prioritizing the elderly first would save more than twice as many lives as prioritizing essential workers according to CDC – which somehow doesn’t see this as the best outcome because of some abstract notion of social justice.
Unsurprisingly, this social justice lunacy has infected the mainstream, and there are so-called “medical ethicists” actually trying to justify this.
Harald Schmidt, a researcher whose “interests are centered around improving opportunity and reducing disadvantage for marginalized population” told the New York Times that it’s reasonable to put essential workers ahead of the elderly because essential workers are disproportionately minorities. “Older populations are whiter. Society is structured in a way that enables them to life longer,” Schmidt said. “Instead of giving additional health benefits to those who already had more of them, we can start to level the playing field a bit.”
Schmidt seems to be using “minority” as a synonym for “African-American” here, because the two other largest minority groups in America (Asians and Hispanics) have longer average lifespans than whites.
But even if that wasn’t the case it would still be irrelevant. The CDC’s own data says that prioritizing the elderly first would save the most lives, and therefore the elderly should be prioritized first.
Perhaps someone can invent a social justice vaccine first – I don’t think a single elderly person would need it.