Few events in the annals of medical history are more reviled the Tuskegee Experiment, in which race was the deciding factor in who was denied treatment.

Yet, decades later, “experts” are advising that race-based COVID-vaccination priorities be established.

The U.S. has begun vaccinating Americans with the Pfizer vaccine this week, and soon with the newly approved Moderna vaccine. However, no vaccine is expected to be widely available for several months.

That means the determination of who gets vaccinated first must either be decided on who is more vulnerable to death (the elderly) and who is more exposed (essential workers) for the next phase of distribution (Phase 1b), after providing doses to frontline medical providers and patients in nursing homes (Phase 1a). Decisions like this used to be made using science.

Not any longer. Welcome to “Critical Race Theory,” as applied by bureaucrats.

Historically, the committee relied on scientific evidence to inform its decisions. But now the members are weighing social justice concerns as well, noted Lisa A. Prosser, a professor of health policy and decision sciences at the University of Michigan.

“To me the issue of ethics is very significant, very important for this country,” Dr. Peter Szilagyi, a committee member and a pediatrics professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, said at the time, “and clearly favors the essential worker group because of the high proportion of minority, low-income and low-education workers among essential workers.”

That position runs counter to frameworks proposed by the World Health Organization, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and many countries, which say that reducing deaths should be the unequivocal priority and that older and sicker people should thus go before the workers, a view shared by many in public health and medicine.

Expanding upon this point, Harald Schmidt, an expert in ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania, asserted that essential workers should be prioritized over the elderly because “older populations are whiter.”

“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.”

In the wake of the outrage directed at him, Schmidt revised his questionable assessment.

In a tweet on Friday, Schmidt backpedaled his remarks, claiming he ‘never espoused race-only prioritization.’

He went on to argue that it was easier for elderly populations to self-isolate than essential workers, who may have no choice but to interact with the public through their jobs.

However, the remarks drew backlash, with one Twitter user responding, ‘I cannot fathom how someone could have your opinion. … It has always been about protecting the old.’

Another chimed in: ‘vaccines should go to those who are most at risk of dying from it, and that by far is a function of age. good to know racism alive in the academy.’

There has been some robust social media commentary over this proposal, including a detailed review of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) modelling process used in such decision making.

The good news: The upcoming CDC guidance from the panel of “experts” is not binding because each state ultimately decides how to manage vaccine distribution. The bad news: if you live in a “social justice” state, you can expect even more pandemic policy inanity.

In conclusion, if there has been any real science related to the handling of this pandemic by any of America’s “experts,” it has been purely coincidental.

 

 
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