Former Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard blasted young members of Congress for taking the coronavirus vaccine before American seniors — and declared she wouldn’t receive the vaccine until the elderly could.
The Hawaii congresswoman made the remarks in a Monday morning tweet as members of Congress receive the Pfizer drug as part of a “continuity of governance” plan, vaulting them to the front of the line before at-risk seniors and other front-line workers.
On Friday, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) recorded herself receiving the vaccine live on Instagram and encouraged her millions of followers to ask questions.
“Heartless, arrogant, unelected CDC bureaucrats have decided that the lives of elderly Americans just don’t count,” Gabbard said.
“For months the CDC has been telling us that the elderly are the most vulnerable. But now they are recommending that 100 million so-called essential workers, which means healthy people working in everything from liquor stores to telephone companies can get the vaccine before our grandparents can,” she went on.
“That members of Congress, like me, we can get the vaccine before at-risk seniors,” she said, railing against what she called an “immoral and bad health policy.”
Gabbard, 39, announced she was boycotting the vaccine until the more vulnerable had received it, and encouraged other young members of Congress to do the same.
“I planned to take the vaccine but will now stand in solidarity with our seniors by not doing so until they can. I urge my colleagues in Congress who are under the age of 65 and healthy to join me.”
Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, 38, retweeted Gabbard, adding, “I’m with you Tulsi!”
The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday approved Moderna’s COVID-19 shot, bolstering the nation’s immunization effort.
But there are fears that many Americans who need the drug the most are missing out, with hundreds of nursing homes in New Jersey still waiting because officials there were overwhelmed with paperwork.
President-elect Joe Biden, 78, will receive his first shot with wife Jill Biden on Monday.
President Trump has committed to receiving the vaccine but aides say he may still have immunity after surviving the virus in October and does not want to jump the line.