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Is Joe Biden’s decision to prioritize teachers for COVID-19 vaccinations insufficiently woke? The Hill reports that an epidemiologist who advised the Biden transition has blasted the move, arguing that Biden’s pander to the union comes at the expense of more vulnerable Americans — especially in minority communities. In a tweet that appears to have been deleted, NYU’s Céline Gounder called it “an ANTI-EQUITY move”:
Céline Gounder, an infectious disease specialist and epidemiologist at New York University who advised the Biden transition team on COVID, tweeted that the move “doesn’t make any sense.”
Gounder argued that older, at-risk teachers should already be getting vaccinated under current priority groups. She noted pharmacies are not getting any additional allocations.
Without extra supply, Gounder said pharmacies would be “taking vaccine away from higher-risk persons & communities of color to vaccine young healthy teachers. This is an ANTI-EQUITY move.”
Jen Psaki argued in response yesterday that the order covers more than just the teachers, but also other school personnel, such as bus drivers and janitors. Getting all of the personnel vaccinated would “help communities of color” by getting their children back in school, she commented, noting that those communities were already “being disproportionately disadvantaged” by the school closures.
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