Podcast host and political commentator Kmele Foster undermined the argument for COVID-19 vaccine prioritization based on race, noting older populations are more vulnerable and should be receiving it first.
“We actually know, when we look at the global impact of COVID in the United States, 80 percent of the people who are dying are older, around 18 percent of the people who are dying are black. A life lost to COVID is a life that matters and we can focus on the people who are vulnerable, without making this about race,” Foster said on “Real Time with Bill Maher.” “Making it about race only obscures the actual issue.”
This new, widespread perspective, Foster said, is damaging and prevents good policymaking.
“This is a confusion of categories that is actually distracting us from forging good policy,” he said. “What you get is great sound bites. You don’t actually fix problems.”
Foster continued by expressing frustration at the politicians, media, and institutions who have adapted a narrative that he said is “ridiculous.”
“There have been actual conversations about prioritizing people on the basis of their race because COVID is said to disproportionately impact black people relative to white people. It is a ridiculous proposition, but it’s a proposition that found its way into the mouths of governors here in California the pages of the New York Times,” Foster said.
When one of the people on the show noted that Hispanic populations are generally hospitalized at higher rates than white populations, Foster pointed out that it wasn’t truly a problem that began with their race.
“The important point is it’s not fundamentally about race you can’t ‘un-Hispanic’ them,” Foster pointed out.
The real issues, Foster continued, are found in communities and affect people for a variety of reasons beyond their race
“It could be that they live in homes with more people. It could be that they live in more urban centers. If that’s the case, the policy you’re tailoring is for people in urban centers, not Latinos,” he said.