Confess your unpopular opinion: she’s right.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) broke with other members of “the squad” on Monday by deciding to not get a coronavirus vaccine available to members of Congress, saying it was “shameful” that political leaders got the vaccine due to their “importance.”
Anand Giridharadas, publisher of the political newsletter The.Ink, tweeted on Sunday, “Serious question. Is seemingly our entire top political leadership getting the vaccine ahead of others because of their age or their importance??”
“It would makes sense if it was age, but unfortunately it’s of importance and its shameful,” responded Omar in a retweet of Giridharadas’s question. “We are not more important then frontline workers, teachers etc. who are making sacrifices everyday. Which is why I won’t take it. People who need it most, should get it. Full stop.”
All politicians, especially younger ones, should simply wait their turn. The claim that they need to “set an example” is simply their excuse to do what they always do: treat themselves better than they treat you.
The typical propaganda I see for why politicians take it first is that they are “setting an example.” To get to herd immunity, we need a certain percentage of people (the figure I have seen is around 70%) take the vaccine. So we need buy-in from the populace . . . and seeing public figures take it will give the public the confidence it needs to take it themselves.
This argument, I believe, is propaganda designed to rationalize the typical self-serving actions of Congresscritters.
This vaccine is a precious, limited resource. At some point it will be available to everyone, but right now access must be prioritized. If you are the type of person who won’t take it unless you see your favorite politico take it first, then guess what? You can wait. I don’t see why such people should be prioritized over people who are willing to take it without seeing a politician from their tribe take it first. (Read: less stupid people.)
Once it’s your favorite politician’s turn, he or she can take it, and then the political fanatics will be comforted, and they can take it then.
Frankly, it’s inexcusable privilege that politicians even get to decide whether to prioritize themselves. These people are supposed to be our servants, but they treat themselves like our betters, in every way, all the time. I’m sick of it.
I do have one caveat: I see an argument for the president-elect to get it (and he has), as he will soon be an entire branch of government in and of himself. (I would say the same about the current president except he already got COVID, and is very unlikely to get it again in the month he has left.) But rando Congresspeople and even Senators? Especially young ones? Nah.
They’re just not that important. Their lives are not more important than ours.
End the propaganda that excuses this!