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WASHINGTON — Progressive Rep. Ilhan Omar on Sunday called it “shameful” that young, healthy lawmakers — such as fellow “Squad” member Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) — are receiving the coronavirus vaccine before American seniors and frontline workers.
The Minnesota congresswoman has joined a growing number of lawmakers who have vowed not to take the miracle Pfizer drug out of concerns they are jumping the line.
“It’s now clear that we don’t have enough vaccines for everyone and there is shortage of supply, we have to prioritize those who need it most,” Omar wrote on Sunday.
“That’s why it’s disturbing to see members be 1st to get vaccine while most frontline workers, elderly and infirm in our districts, wait.”
The congresswoman’s father died due to complications from COVID-19 in June.
The message appears to be a clear shot at lawmakers like her fellow progressive AOC (D-NY), who recorded herself receiving the vaccine live on Instagram on Friday and encouraged her millions of followers to ask questions.
In a follow-up tweet, Omar said it was “shameful” that lawmakers were receiving the vaccine not because of their age, but their importance.
“It would makes sense if it was age, but unfortunately it’s of importance and its shameful,” she wrote.
“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.”
On Monday morning, former Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard also blasted lawmakers for taking the coronavirus vaccine before American seniors — and declared she wouldn’t receive the vaccine until the elderly could.
“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,” she said in a Twitter video.
Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, 38, retweeted Gabbard, adding, “I’m with you Tulsi!”
Officials in the White House, Congress and judiciary were given priority for vaccination earlier this month under continuity of government planning set in place by President Dwight Eisenhower to ensure the US government can continue functioning under a broad range of circumstances.
GOP Congresswoman-elect Nancy Mace of South Carolina also said it was wrong for lawmakers to be receiving the vaccine.
“Congress shouldn’t be putting themselves first in line for the COVID-19 vaccination when the average American can’t get it,” she wrote on Twitter.
“For as long as the vaccines are limited, we should prioritize healthcare and frontline workers, and every person at greater risk, especially the elderly.”
“I’ll wait my turn in line with the rest of my constituents when the vaccine becomes available to the rest of us. And yes, I will get it,” she added.
The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday approved Moderna’s COVID-19 shot, bolstering the nation’s immunization effort, but there are fears that Americans who need the drug the most are missing out.
President-elect Joe Biden, 78, receive his first shot with wife Jill Biden on Monday.
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