The Washington State Department of Health has been recently letting providers deny vaccine appointments to white people in a race-exclusionary system that they claim creates “equity” and removes barriers for eligible recipients. It has been deferring white people who try to register for a taxpayer-funded COVID-19 vaccine appointment to a standby list based on race.
According to the waitlist, only when Black, Indigenous, and other people of color receive their vaccine first, will White people be called about scheduling an appointment time for the shot. This isn’t equity, it’s racism.
The African American Reach and Teach Health Ministry (AARTH) is a COVID-19 vaccine provider in Washington state that Is prioritizing people of color for bookings at one of the four vaccination sites across Seattle and Kent in King County. The site reads that “The COVID-19 vaccine is available to all people 16 years and older who live or work in Washington state. If you do not meet our targeted audience, we encourage you to join our STANDBY List.”
When attempting to book a vaccine appointment, the website asks “Are you Black, Indigenous, or Person of Color (BIPOC)?” The users who answer “no” are directed to join a standby list and are told that they will be contacted “if appointments become available.”
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A spokesperson for the state’s Department of Health appeared to have no problem with this process and claimed that people of color are faced with enough “systemic inequalities” in healthcare already. They explained how putting Black communities before others are “justified” because minorities are more vulnerable to racism, which is a “stressor that is bad for health and life expectancy.”
The spokesperson would not directly answer whether or not this practice violates the law, but argued instead that they’re taking the necessary steps to provide “equitable access” to the vaccine.
Twanda Hill, an AARTH consultant, defended the race-based online scheduling system and argued that they wouldn’t have to worry about this if the health care system, in general, could service “brown people and people of color.” She said part of the reason the site asks if you are a person of color is because of the funding they receive. She said they want to know that federal, state, and county funding is reaching people of color to accessing the vaccine and getting high-risk people vaccinated first.
“Even if it’s not the ethnicity, it could be the eligibility, they’re right on the borderline. So I’m not quite sure what the answer is because it almost feels like you’re saying that since we have a focus on a targeted group, that we should just open it up and let everybody in. But if you or another person is not getting in, isn’t that a bigger issue for the state? And why aren’t there more appointments?” Hill argued.
Jason Rantz of KTTH Radio points out how under the site’s current process, an older white person with obesity and cancer is at a higher risk than a young and healthy Black person, yet the White Washingtonian would be denied access based exclusively on his skin color. “Apparently, the DOH believes privilege grants white people magical access to limited vaccine appointments,” he adds.
Only the radical left would believe that excluding certain people because of the color of their skin is inclusive. The radical left is pushing an anti-White agenda that only gets more dangerous by the day.
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