Paul Sacca reports in The Blaze:
The COVID-19 vaccine rolled out this week, and now there is a debate about which groups should be a priority on the coronavirus vaccine waiting list. The New York Times attempted to answer the question about the COVID-19 priority list in an article titled “The Elderly vs. Essential Workers: Who Should Get the Coronavirus Vaccine First?”
The article featured health experts, economists, and epidemiologists to give their insight into who should move to the front of the line for the COVID-19 vaccine. Much to the shock of many readers, the experts considered race when deciding who received priority in receiving the potentially life-saving vaccine.
Dr. Peter Szilagyi, a committee member and a pediatrics professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, declared, “The issue of ethics is very significant, very important for this country, and clearly favors the essential worker group because of the high proportion of minority, low-income and low-education workers among essential workers.”
Harald Schmidt, an expert in ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania, told the New York Times, “It is reasonable to put essential workers ahead of older adults, given their risks, and that they are disproportionately minorities.”
“Older populations are whiter, ” Schmidt told the paper. “Society is structured in a way that enables them to live longer. 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 proclaimed that essential workers should be given priority for the vaccine over the elderly, even though people aged 75-84 have a chance 220 times higher of dying from coronavirus than younger adults, and anyone over the age of 85 has a chance 630 times higher, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Marc Lipsitch, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, also hinted that the race of a person should determine who should or should not get priority on the coronavirus waiting list. Lipsitch said that teachers shouldn’t be considered essential workers, “if a central goal of the committee is to reduce health inequities.”