Rep. Gabbard slams younger members of Congress for getting COVID-19 vaccine before the elderly

Congresswoman and former Democratic 2020 presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii) criticized her young congressional colleagues on Monday for taking the COVID-19 vaccine before the elderly as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for not making seniors a priority.

Notably, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who is 31 years old, recorded herself Friday receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and posted it to her Instagram account.

Members of Congress have been taking the vaccine as part of the “continuity of governance” plan, which propels them to the front of the line ahead of at-risk seniors and other frontline workers.

“Heartless, arrogant, unelected CDC bureaucrats have decided that the lives of elderly Americans don’t count,” Gabbard said in a morning tweet.

“They’re recommending 100 million ‘essential workers’ (i.e. healthy people working at liquor stores or phone companies) can get the vaccine before our grandparents,” she continued, also saying in the attached video that the CDC “for months” has “been telling us that the elderly are the most vulnerable.”

Gabbard at one point in the minute-long video brought up her aunt, saying, “That members of Congress, like me, we can get the vaccine before at-risk seniors can, people like my aunt who is imprisoned in her own home because of the danger that if she catches the disease, she could die.”

“This is immoral and bad health policy,” the 39-year-old congresswoman wrote below the video. “I had planned to get the vaccine but will now stand in solidarity with our seniors by not doing so until THEY can. I urge my colleagues who are under 65 and healthy to join me.”

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Saturday rubber-stamped Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine about a week after okaying Pfizer’s, which has been overwhelmingly seen as a boon for the U.S. in its effort to immunize the country from the deadly virus.

There have been concerns that many elderly Americans who need vaccine doses are not getting them, with doses in the country still in limited supply.

On top of that, many Americans have expressed wariness toward taking the vaccines due to how fast the vaccines were developed, to some reports of allergic reactions to those who took the Pfizer one, as well as to some misinformation about the vaccines that have been circling around.

Public officials have received the vaccine publicly in an effort to ease concerns.

Vice President Mike Pence already took the vaccine on Friday, with President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden receiving the vaccine on Monday. On Friday, too, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) got the vaccine.

President Donald Trump, on the other hand, has been on the sidelines about himself receiving the vaccine. Earlier this month, Trump tweeted that he was “not scheduled” to take the vaccine, but looked “forward to doing so at the appropriate time.”

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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