Service of Plus ça Change, Plus C’est la Même Chose–Redux II

January 21st, 2021

Categories: Cheating, Medical Care, Pandemic

I interrupt my planned post for today to write this morning about a serious state of affairs regarding Corona-19 vaccine distribution: money can put you at the head of the line. I heard about it this morning.

Money impacted Vietnam War deferments. Sons of the wealthy who sought them got them. That was nothing new: deep enough pockets to hire the canniest lawyers have always plucked scoundrels off the hook for crimes committed.

How naive I was to think this wasn’t the case for today’s crisis. Here’s why:

NYC Housing Authority Photo: nyulangone.org

Thousands of New York City Housing Authority development residents have been given the vaccine so for once, while I and my computer-savvy friends are struggling to wangle an appointment online, some with few resources or ability to do this were being served first. I was glad.

I admit that my requirements restrict my chances. I want to walk to my appointment–5 miles my limit–and a trip, alone, to dodgy neighborhoods, as many friends have suggested, is out of the question.

Dr. Arthur Caplan. Photo: twitter

Simultaneously thousands of appointments have been cancelled in NYC this week for lack of vaccine. On his weekly segment on the WOR morning show today Arthur L. Caplan, Professor of Bioethics at New York University Langone Medical Center, reported to hosts Len Berman and Michael Riedel that people were paying to jump the line. I hadn’t heard this before.

What’s worse: There are no punishments to thwart them he said. Dr. Caplan warned Len, who has a vaccine appointment for next week, not to count on it. He cautioned that it might take a month to sort out the clog in the system. The three men shared anecdotes of people–even from Canada–flying to Florida or lying about their ages to be vaccinated.

To make matters worse, the outgoing administration left no plan with which the current one might run to help sort things out at local levels nationwide.

Do you feel all’s fair in an emergency and people with money deserve to go first because they’ve earned the right? Can you think of additional instances where money overrides first come first served?

Photo: nih.gov

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3 Responses to “Service of Plus ça Change, Plus C’est la Même Chose–Redux II”

  1. Lucrezia Said:

    No argument, no discussion — money talks, and always will. No amount of moralizing works. Strength of character might, but it’s in very short supply.

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Lucrezia,

    As I’d not before heard that this was happening I’d hoped that people’s better angels had gotten the better of them. How foolish I was!

  3. Martha Takayama Said:

    I did not know this was happening, but we do know that many people in Trump’s circle seemed to be favored. The paying to override the fair distribution is unnerving and medically hazardous. There are supposed sound public health reasons for having distribution plans. It is sad that there are no controls or even fines for this behavior.

    Perhaps our new government will be able to lessen it.

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