Should prison inmates receive the Coronavirus vaccine in some cases before elderly persons and other vulnerable populations?
It’s a controversial question to ask in a pandemic that is increasingly about political implications rather than science.
In Colorado, for example, the state’s multi-phase plan under Gov. Jared Polis calls for persons considered “critical workforce” to receive the Coronavirus vaccine first, followed by “highest risk” individuals such as residents and patients in assisted living, long-term care, and nursing home facilities.
On the surface, that seems reasonable to Americans on both sides of the political aisle.
But a closer look at Colorado’s plan reveals that people who live in congregate housing – including those who are in prisons – would receive the vaccine ahead of most adults age 65 or older, those with obesity, heart disease, active cancer, and other underlying health issues.
That doesn’t sit well with those who fear the eventual establishment of “death panels” in a country moving towards a single-payer healthcare system.
Dr. Lisa Lee, a public health expert and associated vice president for research and innovation at Virginia Tech, told Fox News that “prioritizing who gets the vaccine first is not about whether one group is more deserving than another; it is about ensuring that we have weighed all of the conflicting ethical priorities in a fair and just way.”
But who decides what is “fair and just” – scientists or politicians?
WIBC host Tony Katz tackled the controversial issue on the Thursday edition of “Tony Katz Today.”
“Are we believers in ‘science’ or are we believers in ‘feelings?’ Because if the virus spreads more rapidly when people are closer together, people are closer together in prisons.
“This is not a question of whether or not your father or your grandfather matters; it’s about science.
“There might be legitimate reasons that you should give the vaccine to persons in prisons ahead of other groups.
“Before you get angry, take a breath and consider whether or not the science supports the argument.”
Click the link below to hear Tony’s full commentary.