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Why are Politicians and Plastic Surgeons Getting the Vaccine First?

Why is Race an Issue in Vaccine Distribution?

December 28, 2020

Amazingly, two governors – Newsome of
California, and Cuomo of New York, have said that the China Virus vaccine should be distributed based on “racial equity.” What does that even mean? If you are of a certain race you deserve to live, while others – presumably Caucasians – deserve to die? If that’s what they mean, hopefully they will both volunteer to die so that some deserving “person of color” (I believe that’s the current politically correct phrase) can live.
But we should concentrate on the bigger picture. Let’s look at who the federal government believes should live – and who should take their chances with the China Virus.

In the Marine Corps leaders were last. Our sergeants always made sure there was enough food for their men before they ate. If only some of our politicians and powerful physicians had had that kind of training. Then we would not see the travesty of fat-cat doctors who enlarge women’s breasts and healthy politicians pushing to the front of the vaccine line. As you read this, consider that for every person who receives the vaccination unnecessarily, there will likely be one elderly person or real front-line worker who will die.

We know that about half of the China Virus deaths have been in nursing homes and other long-term health facilities. People in these facilities make up only 8% of China Virus cases, but 45% of the deaths. These data do not include assisted living facilities because they are not federally regulated. When these are included, it is estimated that 50 to 55% per cent of all deaths are in senior citizen facilities. Yet the CDC guideline prioritize politicians and all healthcare workers – including those who have no contact with Virus – over patients over this highest -risk population.

We know that people over 65 are 10 times as likely to die of the disease than people 25 to 55. CDC guidelines prioritize healthy young “essential workers in this age range over seniors who are aged 65 to 75. Yet people 65 to 75 are just as likely to die of the China Virus as those 75 to 85.

The federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) was responsible for the ultimate unethical, unfair, and - in some cases - frankly ridiculous guidelines for who would be vaccinated first. They divided Americans into three priority groups.

One doctor who was part of the advisory panel thought cutting the age at 75 rather than 65 was very wrong.” "I voted no,” said ACIP member Henry Bernstein, a physician at Northwell Children's Medical Center on Long Island, New York, “because I feel that the science regarding COVID-19 morbidity and mortality” is similar among those between 65 years old and 74 years old and those over 75. Several other committee members questioned splitting the two older age groups. Pablo Sanchez, a doctor at the Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, said that although he voted yes, he also really felt “strongly that the elderly and those with high-risk medical conditions should be up front, over some essential workers who may be younger."

The first priority group of 24 million Americans, designated as Phase 1a, began getting inoculated last week. This category includes health care workers and residents and staff of nursing homes. This is as it should be. These are the most vulnerable among us. They were made even more vulnerable in New York when Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered nursing homes with zero infected patients to take in thousands of people who were infected with the Virus. The results were predictable. At least 7,000 senior citizens died as the Virus spread like wildfire among the healthy patients. Their blood is on his hands.

But the ACIP also included “healthcare workers.” Since they have been given first priority, we would have the right to believe that these are the people who risk their lives daily because they are in direct contact with China Virus-infected patients. We would be wrong. The majority of these are in the healthcare industry, but they are not at any more risk than most American workers. People who have pushed to the front of the vaccination line include hospital executives, wives of doctors, Board members, and thousands whose professions have nothing to do with mitigating the Virus.

For instance, a rich plastic surgeon whose specialty is Botox and tummy tucks doesn’t have the same risk getting the Virus as an ER nurse who sees dozens of patients a night. In fact, his risk is no more than the kid wo makes sandwiches at Subway. Just because he has an M.D. doesn’t make him a frontline healthcare worker who would make a difference in the spread of the Virus – whether or not he was vaccinated.

And what about the politicians? Although not included in the guidelines for the first priority, they have pushed to the front of the line regardless. Among the first were Joe Biden and the 35-year-old Socialist from the Bronx, Alexandra Cortez. In stark contrast is President Trump, who has said he would wait until others with greater needs were vaccinated. He must have had Marine training.

Other honorary Marines are the thousands of healthy physicians who have vowed that they would not accept the vaccine until every senior citizen and real frontline health worker received it.

I have several major problems with the ACIP’s recommendation for the second priority group, named 1b – as did several of the physicians on the panel. This group includes, “19 million elderly people 75-plus and 30 million essential frontline workers. They would begin to get their shots after those in group 1a who wanted to be vaccinated were taken care of.”

First is the issue of the age groups. Since those 65 to 75 are only slightly less likely to die if infected than those 75 to 85, many physicians have argued against this arbitrary cutoff. Those in charge of the China Virus response are fond of saying, “Follow the science.” Well, the science, as Dr. Bernstein argued, is squarely on the side of treating seniors in both age groups the same. Instead, the panel decided to give the vaccine to healthy young “essential workers” before the people who need it most.

Who are these “essential workers?” The panel said that “…frontline essential workers, including police officers, firefighters, teachers, grocery store staff and U.S. Postal Service employees, should be next in line” to get the China Virus vaccine.

Well, ALL workers are essential. Certainly, an argument could be made that some of those listed above are “more essential” than others. But I can tell you from having been both a police officer and a firefighter that (a) These men and women are among the healthiest people in the nation. Those that are not tend to be the older ones who sit at desks and don’t go out on calls that would put them at risk. And (b) I believe every one of them would say the same as the President and the ethical physicians quoted above. They would rather protect the elderly and vulnerable before taking the vaccine themselves.

School teachers before the elderly? Give me a break. The average age of teachers in the U.S. is 42.4. They have a 99.995 chance of surviving if they get infected. Besides, most of them are teaching (very ineffectively, I might add) by computer. It’s pretty hard to get the virus through the Internet. As a group, the teacher’s unions have been the most cowardly and irresponsible of any group I can think of during this pandemic. Why are they any more special than the cops and firefighters who actually come into contact with infected people? The first responders have shown up. But the teachers have been hiding behind their computers, while a whole generation of children have lost a year of their education and social interaction. If the teachers have their way, it will be at least two years.

They claim their refusal to teach is “for the children.” But their actions and protestations say they couldn’t care less about the children. Listen to the demands the Los Angeles Teachers’ Union proclaimed must be met before they returned to the classroom:

1. Defund Police: Police violence is a leading cause of death and trauma for Black people and is a serious public health and moral issue.
2. Housing Security: Housing should be a human right assisted by the state.
3. Paid Sick Leave: All cities in LAUSD’s boundaries should follow LA City Council’s lead and require ten additional sick days and expand those sick days to require it of all businesses.
4. Charter Moratorium: Privately operated, publicly funded charter schools drain resources from district schools.
5. Financial Support for Undocumented Students and Families.

These are standard Socialist talking points. Do you hear anything in their demands that indicates real concern for children? Their goal is to use an illegal strike to force their social agenda on the community. Their concern is not for the kids, but for themselves. It is established scientific fact that children are not spreaders of the Virus. Younger teachers should start thinking of the children or be fired and replaced. Older teaches should be vaccinated or moved to administrative work.

Grocery store staff are more deserving of the vaccine than the elderly? Most of them are young and healthy. Most have little contact with the public. But more important, what makes them more essential than the millions of restaurant employees who have lost their jobs? What about the church employees who have been shut down by tyrannical Democrat governors? Are they not essential? The Governor of Florida, who is a Christian and a Republican, put religious services at the top of the list of essential services. Churches have held this nation together during this crisis. But a kid stocking shelves is more deserving of the vaccine than millions of Americans who are in far more danger, and who do much more important work.

Finally, the Postal Service. What a joke. Unlike many businesses who have abandoned the useless unionized Postal Service, I am sometimes forced to use their services. Recently they took three and a half weeks to send a package form the East to the West Coast of the U.S. A letter mailed to me from the West Coast of Florida to the East Coast took almost a week to arrive. I could have driven it there in four hours, and I could have walked it across the state in less time than they took. UPS and FedEx are faster, more efficient, and give much better service. But they are not protected by powerful politicians paid by lobbyists like the USPS. If the Postal Service was required to play on a level playing field with private carriers, they would be out of business in a month.

Do you see a pattern here? The rich and powerful get vaccinated. The poor and powerless do not. Rich politicians, rich doctors and their families – they’re all first in line. People in powerful unions like the teachers and postal workers push to the front as well. The average American is not rich nor powerful, so they can just wait in line. The sick and the elderly in nursing homes don’t have a union, so unless they are over 75 – not matter how high their risk – they are out of luck,

Finally, in the third priority group, called 1c, “…the essential worker category is broadened to include food service employees, transportation and logistics workers, construction workers, finance employees, information technology and communications, energy workers, the media, the legal profession, public safety engineers, and water and wastewater employees.” The high-risk health factors that ACIP says would qualify someone age 16 to 64 to be part of this group include: obesity, severe obesity, type 2 diabetes, COPD, a heart condition, chronic kidney disease, cancer, immunocompromised state as the result of a solid organ transplant, sickle cell disease, pregnancy and smoking (either currently a smoker or with a history of smoking).

Isn’t that sweet? People who are extremely obese and those who smoke – people who would not qualify for a transplant because of their lifestyles – are given priority for the vaccine over people who live a healthy lifestyle. Next, we will see alcoholics and drug abusers added to the list. Surely, they are at the same or greater risk than smokers.

In this bottom group, the government, in its infinite wisdom, finally allows people in the 65- to 75-year-old age group the same priority they gave to those 75 to 85 – in the first group. Both groups have the same risk, but a bunch of pencil-pushers made an arbitrary decision NOT based on science, to make this age group wait, while millions of healthy young people in privileged groups got their vaccination. When thousands of people in this group die because they had to wait, don’t expect Dr, Fauci or the panel to apologize.

During the financial panic of 2008 when the government decided which businesses were “too big to fail” and which they would allow to die. (Coincidentally, the big Wall Street firms that were bailed out were those who donated millions to Obama’s campaign.) Following that pattern, the government has decided which people are too rich, too well-connected or too unionized to die. They will get the vaccine. The rest? Well, they donated to the wrong political campaign.

The States have the final say – they don’t have to follow the CDC guidelines. Fortunately many are run by Republicans who will do the right thing. For instance, the Governor of Florida agrees with the scientists, and is prioritizing the vaccine for Floridians 65 and up – not 75, as recommended by the CDC.

Unfortunately, many states are run by Democrats who use politics, rather than reason, as their guide. One example is the Socialist State of Massachusets, which has decided to prioritize prisoners over the elderly.
I pray that for once our country will do the right things, regardless of politics or their pet theories.

GIVE THE VACCINE TO THE ELDERLY – PERIOD! Everyone else comes second.


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Dr. Tom Barrett is a pastor, teacher, author, conference keynote speaker, professor, certified executive coach, and marketplace minister. His teaching and coaching have blessed both church and business leaders. He has been ordained for over 40 years, and has pastored in seven churches over that time. Today he “pastors pastors” as he oversees ordained and licensed ministers in Florida for his ministerial fellowship.

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