Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii) has decided to hold off on receiving the COVID-19 vaccine currently being administered to many of her fellow members in Congress, instead vowing to refuse it until elderly Americans are able to receive the shot.
The 39-year-old former Democratic presidential candidate — known for often defying her party — also ripped the Centers for Disease Control for prioritizing healthy "essential workers" over the more vulnerable older population.
What are the details?
"Heartless, arrogant, unelected CDC bureaucrats have decided that the lives of elderly Americans don't count," Gabbard tweeted Monday. "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."
"This is immoral and bad health policy," she said, declaring, "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."
This is immoral and bad health policy. I had planned to get the vaccine but will now stand in solidarity with our… https://t.co/XA4JanZlYz— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@Tulsi Gabbard 🌺)1608560729.0
The Hill reported that "Gabbard's tweet conflated essential workers — those who were allowed to continue reporting to work during stay-at-home orders — with first responders. The CDC put first responders alongside 'high-risk health workers' for early access to the vaccine."
In recent days, many leaders in Washington, D.C., have received the newly approved vaccines as part of a "continuity of governance" plan, the New York Post reported. Several members of Congress, the Trump administration, and President-elect Joe Biden have taken the shots in public in an effort to build public confidence in the shots.
But Gabbard is not alone in her views that members of Congress should not be among the first in line. Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz replied on Twitter, "I'm with you Tulsi!"
The youngest member of Congress, 31-year-old Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), received her jab over the weekend and publicized it on social media, while one of the far-left representative's closest allies, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) — whose father died from COVID-19 — condemned the decision for D.C. politicians to receive the shots ahead of other Americans.
Omar tweeted that it would "make sense" if the vaccine was administered prioritizing people by age, but that "unfortunately it's of importance and its (sic) shameful."
"We are not more important then (sic) frontline workers, teachers etc. who are making sacrifices everyday," she continued. "Which is why I won't take it. People who need it most, should get it. Full stop."
.@NancyMace and @IlhanMN will probably rarely agree on anything but both say members of Congress shouldn't be getti… https://t.co/UhcjO68rDg— Alex Thompson (@Alex Thompson)1608568111.0