Coronavirus in NY
Letters to the editor — Feb. 2, 2021
NY Senate Democrats block subpoena for COVID-19 nursing home death data
Amid COVID, nursing home uproar, a mass exodus of Cuomo health officials
SoulCycle ‘educator’ shifts gears after COVID vaccine ‘bike-lash’
“Clearly we do see a profound disparity that needs to be addressed aggressively and creatively,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said of stats that seem to show white New Yorkers getting vaccinated at a higher rate. Wrong again, sir.
For starters, that’s based on partial data: 40 percent of respondents failed to provide their race. More important, the reasons for any disparity have nothing to do with any racial favoritism.
Most important: Playing these games is a distraction from getting as many people jabbed as possible, ASAP.
The partial city stats show whites as 48 percent of those who’ve gotten at least one vaccine dose, vs. 11 percent for blacks and about 15 percent for Asians and Hispanics. But two other facts help explain that “disparity” — as well as the one that led the mayor to absurdly declare that the virus discriminates against blacks and other minorities.
First off, older people and frontline workers rightly got priority for the vaccine, regardless of race. Do the mayor and governor regret putting medical personnel, first-responders and teachers first? Yes, it means a white doctor who lives on Long Island got jabbed in the city early on, but there’s nothing racist about that.
As the mayor admits, the great majority of non-city residents vaccinated in the city are public employees, including cops and firefighters. They work here, and getting them immunized is vital.
On top of that is disinformation. Health officials have had to combat irresponsible social-media posts that discourage African Americans and others from getting jabbed. One awful post that was widely circulated falsely claimed that baseball great Hank Aaron died after getting the COVID-19 vaccination.
And it certainly doesn’t help that progressive, woke pols like Gov. Cuomo and Blas let their underlings exacerbate the divide by creating complicated online reservation systems.
Here’s the thing: Vax fears will die down as more people get jabbed and the doubters realize it’s perfectly safe. That’s one more reason to move ahead as fast as supplies allow, without excessive worry.
The noise over racial disparities only slows getting to the vital goal of herd immunity so the city can get back to something approaching normalcy — ending the economic slump that truly hits minorities and low-income New Yorkers hardest.