Two members of the progressive congressional group dubbed “the Squad” appear to be at odds over whether lawmakers should be first in line to receive the new coronavirus vaccine.
In a tweet Sunday, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), whose father reportedly died from complications with the virus, called it “shameful” that some political leaders are receiving the vaccine before frontline workers.
In response to a question posted on Twitter about why political leaders were being offered the opportunity before others, the lawmaker acknowledged, “It would makes sense if it was [based on] age, but unfortunately it’s [based on] importance and its shameful.”
“We are not more important then [sic] frontline workers, teachers etc. who are making sacrifices everyday. Which is why I won’t take it,” she added. “People who need it most, should get it. Full stop.”
It would makes sense if it was age, but unfortunately it’s of importance and its shameful.
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. https://t.co/JQgMftm5wX
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) December 20, 2020
The message was clearly intended to rebuke colleagues who opted to have the vaccine administered even as millions of other Americans will need to wait until there is more supply.
While it’s not totally clear if Omar meant to call out Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), her comments on Twitter specifically pertain to the actions of her fellow progressive lawmaker. Over the weekend, the 31-year-old New York representative recorded herself receiving the vaccine live on Instagram.
“I would would never, ever ask you to do something I wasn’t willing to do myself,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in the caption to the post. “Yesterday, in accordance with national security protocols, Congress began to get vaccinated. I documented the entire process and am here to answer all of your questions to help you feel as comfortable as possible with your healthcare decisions.”
Omar is not the only political leader to abstain from receiving the vaccine in protest.
Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii) also voiced her concern over the vaccine distribution, ripping the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for prioritizing young healthy individuals over the elderly.
“Heartless, arrogant, unelected CDC bureaucrats have decided that the lives of elderly Americans don’t count,” Gabbard tweeted. “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 continued., “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.”