CNSNews.com columnist Hans Bader is weirdly obsessed with making sure white people get the coronavirus vaccine. He wrote in his April 8 column:
The State of Vermont recently drew criticism for giving racial minorities priority in access to the COVID vaccine. Lawyers and law professors (including me) said that racial preference was unconstitutional. But at least Vermont didn't waste doses of the vaccine.
The state of Virginia did. It kept at least 11,000 doses of the COVID vaccine unused due to its extreme push for racial "equity." That will result in increased transmission of COVID-19 among Virginians of all races, notes James Bacon, the former publisher of Virginia Business.
In Danville, Va., so few local residents were getting shots from a COVID-vaccination clinic that people, mostly white, were driving in from out of town to avoid the long waits elsewhere. Danville is over 51% black; Virginia as a whole is only 20% black. The administration of progressive Gov. Ralph Northam became concerned about the “equity” implications of so many more white people getting vaccinated than blacks. So the Northam administration restricted access for out-of-town walk-ins. Only people separately scheduled through a state registration system would be allowed.
That largely shut down vaccinations in Danville. Danville’s vaccination clinic had the capacity to administer up to 3,000 vaccinations per day. But in early April, it was averaging only 184 shots per day, according to an article in the Danville Register & Bee. So the Northam administration's way of promoting “equity” in vaccinations was to prevent white people from getting them, even if that did not result in more vaccinations of black people.
Of course, Bacon isn't the puiblisher of Virginia Business anymore; it's apparently not enough of a deal to even mention mention on the bio page on his own blog. Beyond that, the estimate that 11,000 vaccine doses went "unused" is an estimate and not a reflection of actual reality.
Further, for all the whining that white people weren't getting the vaccines they are apparently entitled to, there was no explanation by either Bader or Bacon about whether they did their part to help people who are disadvantaged or lack the internet access needed to make an appointment to get a vaccine -- the main way of getting one at the time. Are those people on their own, where they will get trampled by better connected white people?
Bader went on a similar whine four days later:
Rhode Island excluded whites from vaccinations given out at Providence's Dunkin Donuts Center on April 10, where 3,000 doses were available. As a result, many of those doses were left unused.
As Erika Sanzi of Parents Defending Education notes, this vaccination "event was only for BIPOC residents of the state —they ended up with tons left over. So many people desperate to get one but can't because" of so-called "equity." To get the vaccine, you had to be "Black, Indigenous, Asian, Hispanic" or "People of Color."
The total exclusion of whites was unnecessary to help minorities. But Rhode Island has reserved for minorities only, in Providence and Woonsocket.
This was discrimination for discrimination's sake, so it was doubly unconstitutional. Rhode Island didn't have a "strong basis in evidence" for giving minorities a preference at all. But even if minorities deserved a preference, to ensure that they would get the vaccine, totally excluding whites made no sense, because that wasted many doses of the vaccine.
Bader's source for the unsubstantiated 3,000 "unused" claim is a tweet from a right-wing education activist. Bader then rehashed an argument he has made before to assert that minorities are not deserving of better access to the vaccine than white people:
Lower vaccination rates among blacks reflected reluctance to take the vaccine, rather than racial bias in administering the vaccine. Surveys showed blacks were far more reluctant than whites to take the vaccine when it first became available. Higher COVID rates among blacks and Hispanics in many states have resulted from occupational and other non-racial risk factors, rather than discrimination by state governments.
This is just victim-blaming on Bader'spart. As we noted the last time Bader made this argument, Blacks and Hispanics really are at risk of catching coronavirus, and even if they are in occupations that expose them to greater risk of catching it, that's all the more reason to prioritize them for vaccines.
It seems Bader wants a more Darwinian process for vaccine access, where the well-connected get it immediately and everyone else must scramble for leftovers -- strange since conservatives normally don't like Darwininan concepts.