In a post yesterday, we showed the thought process that went into the CDC’s recommendation to prioritize essential workers over the elderly in the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine; by pondering how the CDC could “promote justice” and “mitigate health inequities,” the CDC decided that even though more people could be saved by vaccinating the elderly first, essential workers were a more racially diverse group.

Rep. Ayanna Pressley has also been thinking about how the vaccine rollout should be prioritized. The Daily Wire has transcribed a bit of an interview Pressley had with CNN host Abby Phillip on Sunday, in which she said she wanted to prioritize prisoners in the coronavirus vaccine rollout.

Phillip also mentioned to Pressley that, according to the CDC, “black Americans are almost three times as likely to die from the coronavirus as white people. And yet, this poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that only 20 percent of blacks want to get the vaccine as soon as possible versus 40 percent of whites.” (Wonder if they picked up the skepticism from Kamala Harris?) What would Pressley say to those people?

Pressley said that she herself had gotten the vaccine, but she had some trust issues to overcome first:

So I do want to acknowledge that I had to overcome, you know, some of those distrust issues myself — the medical community exacting ostensibly medical apartheid on black Americans, on indigenous people … on our most marginalized communities. They have violated the trust, and that’s very real. And so I wanted to set an example. I trust Dr. Kenzie. I consulted with my husband and my health care provider, which is what I encourage others to do when making their own very personal decision.

That reminds us of Cornell University exempting students of color from the mandated flu vaccine because the school recognized that “historically, the bodies of Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) have been mistreated, and used by people in power, sometimes for profit or medical gain.” At least Pressley recommended that everyone follow her example and get vaccinated.

So far, AOC’s taken the vaccine as part of what she called a “national security measure,” and Rep. Ilhan Omar has said she’ll wait in line until the elderly are vaccinated. (And we agree with her!)

It’s astonishing to see that now that we miraculously have a vaccine (two vaccines!) we still have to fight about who gets them first and which way best serves social justice.

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