While corporate media, hypocritical politicians, and others labeled anyone in favor of reopening the economy, getting kids back in school, and even gathering for holidays a “grandma-killer,” one “expert in ethics and health policy” in the New York Times says that vaccinating elderly people first is racist.
In an article published in early December, Dr. Harald Schmidt told the New York Times that essential workers should be vaccinated before older, more vulnerable populations because the people in those fields are “disproportionately minorities.”
“Older populations are whiter,” he told the publication. “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.”
— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) December 18, 2020
One paragraph after these claims, the Times quoted another person who noted there are not “fact-based, public-health-based” reasons to justify Schmidt’s reasoning.
“They need to have bombproof, fact-based, public-health-based reasons for why one group goes ahead of another,” Chuck Ludlam, a former Senate aide and biotech industry lobbyist, told the Times. “They have provided no explanation here that will withstand public scrutiny.”
In addition to peddling a political execution of critical race theory, Schmidt also advocated for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to use a “social vulnerability index” measuring socioeconomic disadvantages and their effects on people’s health as a guide for vaccine distribution.
He also signed onto an analysis paper with other academics days before the Times article was published, outlining the importance of considering social justice and racial equality while distributing and administering the coronavirus vaccine.
“To minimize the risk that ethics and social justice falls by the wayside in the busy months to come, planners at the federal, state and local levels should carefully consider on what grounds they decline to adopt equity measures that other planners deem important and feasible for defining priority populations, designing allocation quotas, and just as critical, enabling, and monitoring, uptake,” the paper stated.
In May, Schmidt echoed the corporate media casting doubt on the Trump administration and Operation Warp Speed’s ability to produce a vaccine by the end of the year, but began advocating for a vaccine lottery system instead of what he labels a “certainly superior to a first‐come‐first‐served approach (or, perhaps more accurately, a let‐me‐use‐my‐connections‐and‐pointy‐middle‐class‐elbows approach) that likely explains why better‐off and whiter groups typically get tested more frequently for Covid-19 than lower‐income people and people of color.”