D.C. pols jump the line to get coronavirus vaccine

If the pandemic were the Titanic, Sens. Eddie Markey and Elizabeth Warren would be on the first lifeboat.
They would have been joined, naturally, by all the other members of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation after they pushed the women and children passengers out of the way.
In Washington “me first” rules and everyone else can go down with the ship.
If you have any doubts about that just look the way the politicians went to the head of the line last week to make sure they were the first to get inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine.
While experts debated who in society should be first to get the vaccine — front-line workers, doctor, nurses, cops, firefighters, nursing homes, grocery store workers and so on — the politicians in Washington simply cut to the head of the line.
Their lives, you see, are more important than yours. They threw crumbs at the working poor — who are out of work because of shutdowns — while making sure they got paid, $174,000 plus bennies.
They also used their political privilege to also make certain that they got the vaccine before anyone else, including you. Forget you.
That is bad enough, but they added insult to injury when they pretended that they were taking the vaccine to make sure it was safe for everyone else.
U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark of Melrose became one of the first of the Massachusetts delegation to get the vaccine. After elbowing her way to the front of the lifeboat, Clarke said, “A vaccine has been made available to Congress because of the need for continuity of government operations. While I am no more deserving of the vaccine than anyone else, I want to demonstrate that coronavirus vaccines are safe and effective.”
How brave. No wonder Clark has vaulted to be the fourth ranking Democrat in the House. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi could not have said it any better.
Rather that taking the coronavirus vaccine, it would have been much better if they took an injection of the truth serum.
You can rest assured that other Massachusetts members of the House also cut the line to get the vaccination before any of their constituents did. They are just not talking about it, and wisely so.
Rather than speak individually about the vaccinations, the co-captains of the lifeboat — Markey and Warren — issued a joint press release saying, “The vaccine is safe, effective and will save lives.”
If the pair had any concerns about getting the vaccine before their constituents, they did not show it.
Instead, they said they would “make sure vaccines are made widely available and administered equitably to heath care workers, essential workers, teachers, medically underserved communities, and the rest of our nation at no cost and as soon as possible.”
If the co-captains were so concerned about equitability, they could have offered to have the essential workers take the vaccine first, not later. Who is less essential than a politician?
The lifeboat co-captains and the rest of the Massachusetts delegation were not the only ones at the head of the line. Vice President Mike Pence and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell got their shots along with Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y..
No sooner than they did so than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that people 75 and older be next in line for the vaccine along with 30 million essential workers like first responders, teachers and grocery store workers.
Of course, it is all to the good that as many as people as possible get vaccinated.
Only it would have been refreshing, if surprising, if somebody like Markey or Warren put off taking the vaccine until the needy in Massachusetts got it first. But that, of course, is asking too much. The lifeboat can only hold so many.
No matter what you think of Gov. Charlie Baker and how he has handled the pandemic in Massachusetts, you must respect him for not cutting in line.
Baker said, “The folks who work at our hospitals generally, and in our health care system generally, getting vaccinated is a lot more important than me, and frankly a lot more meaningful, I think, to most people. I don’t really think of myself as somebody who should get vaccinated before I actually qualify as an individual.” Amen, bro.
 
 
 
 

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