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Horowitz: Colorado governor’s draft plan prioritizes COVID-19 vaccine for criminals over seniors with underlying conditions


At least the state would lose its excuse to release more criminals?

Alexander Ryumin/Getty Images

So, if you're on an island with a senior who served in Vietnam and a pedophile serving time in prison, and there is only one COVID-19 vaccine available — who should take it? Well, according to the pro-criminal Colorado governor's draft plan for vaccine distribution, evidently, it's the criminal. That is how much criminals have become a protected class to the far Left.

On Nov. 9, Gov. Jared Polis' Expert Emergency Epidemic Response Committee published a hierarchy (page 22) of phased distribution for an anticipated vaccine to prioritize those who are most vulnerable or who need the vaccine most.

Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment website

Prioritized in the first phase are critical workforce, such as health care and rescue workers. Which makes sense because they are the force multipliers who are treating sick people, and we need all hands on deck. Next are the most vulnerable people, who are those seniors living in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes.

But phase 2A is where things go off the rails. Placed before all high-risk individuals with serious underlying conditions, including seniors with underlying conditions, are "congregate housing" dwellers and other "essential workers." We can debate the merits of placing this general category ahead of high-risk individuals in phase 2B, but notice the one group that is included before them in 2A? "Incarcerated adults."

This means that a 40-year-old murderer or pedophile sitting in prison, under this phased approach, would get priority over a 75-year-old Vietnam War vet who has a heart condition.

After receiving blowback from local activists and media, the governor flat-out denied that this would happen. "That won't happen," Polis said on Tuesday. "There's no way that prisoners are going to get it before members of a vulnerable population. … There's no way it's going to go to prisoners before it goes to people who haven't committed any crime. That's obvious. So those are just false."

Well, it can't be false if his advisory committee put it out on the website. It's a good thing some locals with a sharp eye caught the "mistake."

Remember, this is coming from the same politicians who cared so much about criminals that they used the virus as an excuse to release thousands of them from prison. Over 1,700 criminals have been released from jails and prisons across Colorado since March. At the same time, they treated our seniors horribly, in some states placing COVID-positive patients in nursing homes, then overcorrecting in most states by locking them off from their families, even under safe conditions, such as outdoor visitation. Our seniors have been made prisoners, while the prisoners are treated as a protected class. This latest vaccine prioritization hierarchy is par for the course. The Colorado Department of Public Health's website states that "Colorado's draft distribution plan and associated phases are based on federal guidelines." However, if you look at the guidelines prepared by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), you won't find anything about those in prison. The priority list goes as follows:

ACIP is considering four groups to possibly recommend for early COVID-19 vaccination if supply is limited:

  • Healthcare personnel
  • Workers in essential and critical industries
  • People at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness due to underlying medical conditions
  • People 65 years and older

No mention of prisoners! So they were deliberately added to the Colorado plan.

What about the WHO's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization? As George Brauchler, a district attorney in Colorado, observed in the Denver Post, they do list "incarcerated people" and people living in dormitories as the final priority stage, but only after placing "older adults not covered in Stage 1" before prisoners in Stage 2.

As a prosecutor in the state, Brauchler warns that the list of prisoners includes some really bad pedophiles and mass murderers. The list makes no effort to distinguish different types of prisoners based on their conditions or, frankly, based on whether such people deserve grace not accorded to others.

On the flip side, it might be a good thing for all the prisoners to get the vaccine. At least Polis and his ilk will lose their excuse to release more criminals. Then again, this was never about stopping the spread of an unstoppable flu-like respiratory virus. Releasing and coddling criminals was not the means, but the end itself.
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