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Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey, a white Democrat, seems to believe that the coronavirus vaccine should be doled out to minorities first as per so-called “racial justice.”
“Racial justice must be our number one priority as we distribute the COVID-19 vaccine,” the senator tweeted Saturday afternoon.
Attached to the tweet was a live-streaming video of him chatting with fellow Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Massachusetts state Rep. Nika Elugardo, Michael Curry of the NAACP and several others about their hope for “accessible & equitable vaccine distribution.”
Racial justice must be our number one priority as we distribute the COVID-19 vaccine. Join me live with @SenWarren, @RepPressley, @NikaElugardo, @macurry01, and Rev. Culpepper as we discuss the need for greater equity and accessibility in vaccinations. https://t.co/2phfS58LUa
— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) February 20, 2021
“Equity,” the latest buzzword among leftists, refers to a system that utilizes racist and discriminatory practices to force equal outcomes. Think affirmative action.
In the case of the coronavirus vaccine, so-called “equitable” distribution would mean immunizing minorities before others, including potentially the elderly.
“Having a racial preference for a Covid-19 vaccine is not only ethically permissible, but I think it’s an ethical imperative,” Lawrence Gostin, a professor of global health law at Georgetown University, told Stat News last November.
“The reason is both because of historic structural racism that’s resulted in grossly unequal health outcomes for all kinds of diseases, and because Covid-19 has so disproportionately impacted the lives of people of color.”
Not factored into the “equity” equation is personal responsibility and personal decision-making. The data clearly shows, as an example, that black people are more distrusting of the vaccine than all other populations.
Regardless, Markey’s proposal — one that’s now fairly mainstream among Democrats — triggered strong backlash, with a notable number of non-left-wing voices, including one from Fox News, questioning its validity.
Shouldn’t the priority be those most vulnerable to severe illness and even death from COVID? https://t.co/u4lHsiUjKa
— Brit Hume (@brithume) February 20, 2021
So a healthy 20-yr-old minority who would not be threatened by #COVID19 should receive a vaccine before a 70-year-old white person with preexisting conditions who could die from #COVID? That’s antiscience, reverse racism & bad public policy. @SenMarkey should resign #CancelMarkey https://t.co/4mIxnfJkVe
— Drew Johnson (@Drews_Views) February 20, 2021
— Mark Davis (@MarkDavis) February 20, 2021
Risk should be your number one priority. pic.twitter.com/Hq0bpNun2h
— Douglas Karr (@douglaskarr) February 20, 2021
Actually, limiting COVID deaths regardless of race should be the #1 priority. Woke nonsense.
— Brad Polumbo 🇺🇸⚽️ 🏳️🌈 (@brad_polumbo) February 20, 2021
This spurred Markey into posting an angry follow-up tweet labeling their complaints “a shameful demonstration of ignorance and bigotry.”
If you read the quote tweets to our livestream, you will find conservatives decrying racial justice and addressing COVID-19 disparities.
They’re wrong and it’s a shameful demonstration of ignorance and bigotry.
Never mind them. We need racial justice in vaccine distribution. https://t.co/G8fAaxThMV
— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) February 20, 2021
It’s not clear what dictionary he uses, because complaining about racist and discriminatory practices that use race to benefit some at the expense of others certainly doesn’t quality as an example of “ignorance and bigotry.”
The notion of corrupting the coronavirus vaccine distribution process first emerged last year thanks to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
At the time, long-established bureaucrats in the agency mulled doling out the vaccine to “essential workers” over the elderly for the purpose of enhancing so-called “racial justice.” But as noted by Reason magazine, this plan would have hurt minorities.
“While it’s true that the 65-and-up demographic is somewhat whiter than the general population, there are still millions of elderly people of color, and they have by far the greatest risk of dying from COVID-19—the age skew of the disease’s victims is extreme,” the liberterian magazine noted in December.
“A policy of vaccinating police officers, firefighters, and grocery store employees before the elderly is clearly suboptimal, even from the standpoint of just trying to save as many people of color from dying as possible.”
The plan was eventually scrapped, though Democrats continue to screech about “equity.”
“Even though Black and Hispanic residents have borne the brunt of this pandemic here in Massachusetts and all across the country, these communities are not receiving the vaccine in proportion to their share of their population,” Markey claimed in the live-streaming video he shared to Twitter.
He added that this means vaccine distribution efforts need to be refocused to neighborhoods that are essentially predominantly non-white.
The problem again is that minorities such as black people are distrusting of the vaccine, and so prioritizing their neighborhoods over those that are predominantly elderly would mean basically punishing the elderly for the personal decision-making of others.
“Black Americans continue to stand out as less inclined to get vaccinated than other racial and ethnic groups: 42% would do so, compared with 63% of Hispanic and 61% of White adults. English-speaking Asian Americans are even more likely to say they would definitely or probably get vaccinated (83%),” the Pew Research Center reported in December.
But according to Democrats, racism is to blame for this discrepancy, and thus equally racist measures — i.e., “racial justice” — must be pursued to alleviate it.
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