Even though President Biden has urged all Americans to get the COVID-19 vaccine, reports are starting to circulate about a health provider in Washington that is prioritizing people of color and making white people join a waiting list in order to get vaccinated. Just days after Biden threatened to cancel independence day due to Americans not getting vaccinated, and come to find out – it is the health providers who have caused such a backup when it comes to the vaccination.
The health provider in question is The African American Reach and Teach Health Ministry or AARTH. According to their website, “the COVID-19 vaccine is available to all people 16 years and older who live or work in Washington state.” But while their website might advertise vaccines for all people living in Washington, further investigation shows they are deliberately putting white people on a waiting list and giving people of color first priority.
People who were interested in receiving the vaccine had to fill out a form explaining if they identified as BIPOC. If they did not, they were redirected to another page that placed them on a waiting list until more vaccines were readily available. It should also be noted that AARTH helps schedule vaccine appointments for four counties, including its most populous city – Seattle.
When questioned by reporters about their handling of the vaccine, AARTH consultant Twanda Hill stood by their decision, saying “Part of the reason we ask that is because of the funding that we receive. We have funding because we are able to reach people of color. Federal funding, state funding, county funding. They want to know who are we serving.”
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Seeing how outrageous the policy is, some reporters reached out to the Department of Health to see if what AARTH was doing was legal. Instead of giving an answer, spokesperson Kristen Maki dodged the question, saying the “prioritization is designed to address current inequities and barriers to accessing vaccine, and get the people who are at highest risk vaccinated first while federal vaccine supply remains limited.”
It should also be noted that according to their website, AARTH believes that COVID-19 has affected black people more than white people. They also believe that the virus has somehow helped increase police violence against black communities.
“The deaths of Brenna Taylor, George Floyd, Tony Mcdade and countless other murders demonstrates multiple examples of the sad truth: that America is far from that shinning city on a hill that offers liberty and justice for all,” the group states. “Their murders at the hands of police officers represents endemic social injustice, deep seeded hatred and hardness of hearts. This truth has been laid bare for the world to see.”
This piece was written by Jeremy Porter on April 24, 2021. It originally appeared in DrewBerquist.com and is used by permission.
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