Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration has begun an investigation following reports that the chief operating officer of a local hospital managed to vaccinate 72 people who work where he lives at Chicago’s Trump Tower.
Reports claimed that Dr. Anosh Ahmed, 37, the COO of Loretto Hospital, which is located in the neighboring town of Oak Park, bought a condo at Trump Tower last year for $2.7 million. He reportedly told friends that he also vaccinated Eric Trump, a ranking executive for the Trump Organization, and also grabbed a picture with Trump as well.
As reported by Block Club Chicago, shortly after the picture was taking, six dozen workers at Trump Tower were provided with vaccinations several weeks ahead of others who were more eligible because they are more vulnerable to the disease.
In a text obtained by the outlet, Ahmed boasted, “Vaccinated Eric Trump,” and later praised the president’s youngest son as a “cool guy.”
Trump, the executive VP of the Trump Organization which owns the hotel, would not have been eligible to get a vaccine earlier this month in Chicago, however.
Reports said that the 72 Trump Tower workers got vaccinated on March 10 though they were not eligible to get one until March 29. City vaccination centers, at the time, limited shots to the most vulnerable citizens and first responders including teachers, prisoners, and persons over 65.
The injections for the Trump Tower workers were approved by Loretto Hospital Chief Executive Officer George Miller. He justified the injections by stating that the Trump Tower employees were “predominantly black and brown.”
The hospital itself is located in a mainly black neighborhood “where people have been hit hard by the coronavirus and few have been vaccinated,” the Daily Mail reported.
Since then, the hospital has admitted it “mistakenly vaccinated” the hotel workers, adding that shots are mostly to be provided for “minority communities hardest hit” by the pandemic.
“We were, at the time, under the impression that restaurant and other front line hospitality industry workers were considered ‘essential’ under the City of Chicago’s 1B eligibility requirements,” said Miller in a statement.
“I now understand, after subsequent conversations with the Chicago Department of Public Health, that we were mistaken,” he added.
Lightfoot told reporters she was “disappointed” after hearing about the vaccinations.
“We have a finite amount of vaccine in the city. We’ve been really, really careful to make sure that we’re using it in a way that prioritizes the most vulnerable people who are most at risk and most at risk of spreading it,” she said Wednesday, adding: “We cannot have something like this happen again.”
“They know it was a mistake. I’ve asked Dr. [Allison] Arwady [director, Department of Public Health] to dig deeper to make sure that … to trust but verify. To make sure that what they told us, the COO who decided to host this event, that it was limited to hotel workers and not some other circumstances,” she continued. “But they recognize that this was a mistake and absolutely can never be repeated. It’s a cautionary tale for any other provider.”
In the meantime, Ahmed has said he was joking about vaccinating Eric Trump.
“Eric Trump happened to be in the building but we did not vaccinate him,” he said in a statement. “A few residents including myself did take a photo with him. My post was meant as a joke.”
Several uses responded to the Daily Mail story with indignation at Lightfoot’s threat to investigate the Trump Tower employee vaccinations but not put similar resources into solving many of the city’s gun-related murders.
“Yet no investigation into the dozens murdered every weekend in Chicago??” none user wrote.
“HMMMM…. considering that federal law prohibits withholding any life-saving treatment from any person based on any protected factor…. no laws were broken,” noted another.
“But no investigations into the thousands of unsolved murder cases in her city. Mayor Lightweight!” another user commented.
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