The long (not really) awaited COVID-19 vaccine is becoming available now, and while leaders are determining who should get the next round of doses, after medical personnel, of course. What should be determining factors for choosing the next group of people? Age? Gender? Health condition? Income? Race? While all of these will likely play some part, would you be surprised to find out that half of the nation is choosing to “de-prioritize” white people for the virus shot?
This country has been bombarded with demands for racial equality while white people are increasingly becoming the victims of racism. Now, at least 25 states are working on plans that make black, indigenous, and Hispanic citizens a priority to be vaccinated. Is this racism? Some would say it is, because it prioritizes one person over another just because of the color of his or her skin. However, Liberty Nation’s Jeff Charles makes an important point:
“At first glance, this might seem like racial discrimination, but when you look deeper at the issue, the reason for this decision is more apparent. Black Americans are far more likely to have pre-existing conditions that could make them more vulnerable to dying from COVID-19 should they become infected. It is for this reason that the Trump administration has been investigating higher coronavirus mortality rates among black Americans.”
U.S. News pointed out higher death rates among blacks but also suggested racial inequality:
“People of color have been hit hard by the novel coronavirus, and Black Americans have died of COVID-19 at a rate roughly three times higher than whites. Experts agree the virus has exposed health disparities hidden in plain sight, linked to the lingering effects of racism and inequality in the U.S.”
Is it because blacks are sicker than whites? Or is it related to having enough health insurance or healthy finances to seek medical help in a timely fashion? If this is the case, wouldn’t it be more politically correct to suggest providing the vaccine to low-income communities first instead of dividing people by skin color?
This debate further fuels the race wars already tearing the country apart. And mixed messages exacerbate the problem. For example, in June a mask mandate in Oregon was ordered for all people except those with major health issues that would be worsened by wearing a face covering and younger children. Then the state’s Democratic governor, Kate Brown, also exempted black citizens from wearing masks because others might perceive them as criminals.
Those who view the skin color criterion for who gets a COVID vaccination as racist may question why some places didn’t make it mandatory for blacks – the very people “experts” say are dying at three times the rate of whites from this virus.
Where do you find the balance? We understand that frontline workers in nursing homes and health care facilities should be the first to be immunized. Some suggest that next should be the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, who suffer the worst consequence from contracting COVID. If we can agree on this, wouldn’t we also want the next vulnerable in line to have the opportunity? Should it matter that this group is being chosen because of the color of their skin if in fact they are dying at a much higher rate? Or should “race” just be dropped from the equation and focused on low-income communities?
Read more from Kelli Ballard.