In the name of a new “ethics,” public health professionals would sacrifice an 85-year old holocaust survivor to check their white privilege, prove their anti-racism, and establish their bonafides with the cause
According to an analysis by The Daily Mail, “every single US state is being advised to consider ethnic minorities as critical groups for vaccination with half prioritizing black and Hispanic residents over white.”
Twenty five states specifically mention “racial equity” in their plans for the roll out. Twelve describe efforts to reach “diverse populations.” California, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Indiana consider equity a “key principle for vaccine distribution.”
The social justice rot in the public health sector starts at the top. In a meeting last month, every voting member responsible for recommending the second phase of the vaccination plan (known as Phase 1b) showed their support for prioritizing essential workers over the elderly. They’re preferred euphemism for social justice masquerading as medicine is “ethics,” though I don’t think they are referring to the classical definition of the term.
“To me the issue of ethics is very significant, very important for this country,” explained Dr. Peter Szilagyi, a committee member and a pediatrics professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. He added that it “clearly favors the essential worker group because of the high proportion of minority, low-income and low-education workers among essential workers.”
For an organization supposedly devoted to data and science, this is an outrageous position not remotely supported by the facts; it’s even worse medicine than ethics.
Their own data clearly shows age is the primary risk factor for mortality by a huge margin. Of the 276,061 deaths recorded by the CDC as of December 16, a whopping 87,259 were 85 years and older, accounting for 31.6% of all deaths. 75,165 (27.2%) were 75-84, and 59,056 (21.4%) were 65-74. People 65 and older account for 80.2% of all deaths, more than 8 out of every 10.
While data on the average age of essential workers is harder to come by, a survey conducted by the University of Massachusetts, found that 68% of essential workers in MA are under the age of 35. The AARP, however, has a higher figure, estimating that 37.3% are age 50 or over across the entire United States. Either way, the total number of deaths for all age groups under 55 is 21,203, 7.7% of the total. The number under age 35 is 2,522, less than 1% of the total.
The case fatality rate by age also couldn’t be more stark; these are the patients that test positive and then die.
In a study of Italian patients by Carlo Singorelli and Anna Odone published in the International Journal of Public Health in September, patients over age 80 had a fatality rate over 115 times patients age 30-39. The case fatality rate for patients 20-29 is .1%. For patients 70-79, it’s 26.7%. The older you are, your risk of death from COVID-19 increases almost geometrically: Even someone 60-69 has a more than 3 times greater chance of surviving than someone over 80 according to the Italian study.
The “ethics” guiding the CDC in making these insanely unscientific decisions include three key principles, maximize benefits and minimize harm, promote justice, and mitigate health inequities. Under the mitigate health inequities principle, they clearly note that “racial and ethnic minority groups under-represented among adults >= 65.”
It’s moments like this when you realize that social justice actually means it’s polar opposite. Older people will necessarily die as a result of these decisions. The CDC even admits this: In a presentation modeling potential distribution scenarios, they note that prioritizing people over age 65 above either high-risk adults or essential workers would avert 2% to 6.5% more deaths.
They conclude this difference is “minimal.” So much for the Hippocratic Oath, “first, do no harm.”
They are surely doing harm from a public health standpoint: These decisions will also prolong the lock downs and other restrictions ostensibly instituted to control the pandemic, increasing drug addiction, depression, suicide, and the other unintended consequences.
Nor is this the first time public health experts have risked prolonging the pandemic to promote social justice. In the wake of the death of George Floyd in police custody in May, over 1,000 health professionals signed a letter saying protests should continue despite the potential to spread the virus.
“We created the letter in response to emerging narratives that seemed to malign demonstrations as risky for the public health because of Covid-19,” the writers explained. “Instead, we wanted to present a narrative that prioritizes opposition to racism as vital to the public health, including the epidemic response. We believe that the way forward is not to suppress protests in the name of public health but to respond to protesters demands in the name of public health, thereby addressing multiple public health crises.” The letter continues to state, “as public health advocates, we do not condemn these gatherings as risky for COVID-19 transmission. We support them as vital to the national public health and to the threatened health specifically of Black people in the United States.”
Translation: It’s ethical to consign people to death to support social justice. We would rather an 85-year old holocaust survivor die because society’s inequities compel us to prioritize the interests of a 30 year old black woman. This hypothetical 30 year old black woman doesn’t really need the vaccine in the first place and wasn’t at much risk by attending a protest, but what does science and logic matter when you’re righting historical wrongs?
Fortunately, even some Democrats are aware of how awful and immoral this policy truly is.
Democratic Congresswoman from Hawaii, Tulsi Gabbard, tweeted in response. “Heartless, arrogant, unelected CDC bureaucrats have decided that the lives of elderly Americans just don’t count. For months the CDC has been telling us that the elderly are the most vulnerable. But now, they are recommending a 100 million so-called ‘essential workers,’ which means healthy people working at everything from liquor stores to telephone companies, that they can get the vaccine before our grandparents can. That members of Congress like me can get the vaccine before at risk seniors can. People like my aunt, who is imprisoned in her own home because of the danger that if she catches the disease, she could die. This is immoral and bad health policy.”
Immoral ethics. Bad health policy. Shredding the Bill of Rights when politically advantageous. Promoting social justice over people’s lives. This is the party of science in action. Perhaps even worse, they no longer feel the need to hide their insane goals. We should all be afraid of the future if these social justice warriors remain in charge of public health, or anything else for that matter.