It was inevitable that once vaccines were available, war would break out. For the last year the media has promoted fear and now we are reaping the fruits they sowed.
Everyone screams “follow the science” until it doesn’t suit their agenda. The prime example of this is the response of the teachers unions to new CDC guidelines that say it’s safe to reopen schools. The science makes it clear that the risk for children and teachers is exceptionally low, yet teachers unions still refuse to go back to school. The science is clear that keeping schools closed is increasing the rates of suicide in children and dramatically lowering their educational achievements. Yet teachers unions still refuse to go back to school.
Even after liberal mayors like Chicago’s Lorrie Lightfoot called for teachers to go back to school, the unions refused. Now they are insisting every teacher be vaccinated before reopening schools. Imagine if healthcare workers had the same attitude. The death toll would be astronomical!
Don’t look for President Biden to step in and stop this madness. He is already on record as a big supporter of the teachers unions. In his presidential campaign Biden pledged his support of the National Educators Association (NEA), one of the largest teachers’ unions in the country. His wife, Jill, is an NEA member. He proudly announced, “When we win this election, we’re going to get the support you need and the respect you deserve. You don’t just have a partner in the White House, you’ll have an NEA member in the White House. And if I’m not listening, I’m going to be sleeping alone in the Lincoln Bedroom.”
Yesterday, his White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, took pains to distance the White House from their own newly appointed CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, when she said, “Vaccination of teachers is not a prerequisite for safe reopening of schools.” Psaki said she was speaking “in her personal capacity” and not on behalf of the president. Clearly the president is still lockstep with the teachers unions.
Naturally, other unions have taken up the same attitude as the teachers. Despite CDC guidelines, established by science, these unions demand a place at the head of the line for vaccination. Even liberal California Governor Newsom is getting criticized for once doing the right thing! The Wall Street Journal reports, “The SEIU lambasted California Governor Gavin Newsom’s well-advised decision last week to remove “essential” workers such as janitors from the state’s priority guidelines and base eligibility almost solely on age.” SEIU United Services Workers West political director Sandra Diaz griped, “It’s like he’s putting us out to die.”
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo once again made headlines for the wrong reasons when he announced that restaurant, taxi and rideshare drivers would be next in line for vaccines. This came in response to industry groups including hotels, airlines and ride-share companies lobbying efforts to get their workers vaccinated first. Every pig wants a place at the trough. But why should young and healthy restaurant workers be ahead of 60-year-olds who are at much higher risk? Again, everyone wants to listen to the science until they don’t.
Ironically, while everyone seems to be fighting over their priority for vaccination, many of the same people are expressing reluctance to be vaccinated. Blame the media for that. They have spread fear for the last 12 months including fear of the vaccination development process. As a result, about 30% of people currently refuse to be vaccinated. Yet at least one school district – Los Angeles Unified – has announced it intends to require the vaccine for students – even though the vaccines have not been tested in children under age 16 years! This is especially incongruous given that a study in the leading journal Nature estimates the Covid-19 survival rate to be approximately 99.995% in children and teens.
The only rational method of prioritizing vaccinations is by risk and that means primarily by age. WSJ says, “Basing eligibility in stages from oldest to youngest from now on is simple, scientific and fair. As supply increases, this will be the fastest way to inoculate the most people, reduce demands on the healthcare system, and allow more businesses to reopen. Interest groups will complain, but the public will understand and politicians won’t take the inevitable grief for favoritism.” This is no time for political payback.