In front of the cameras, live on social networks … American elected officials and politicians are vaccinated in public against COVID-19 to set an example. But is it justified that they should be given priority?
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In early December, the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), the leading federal public health agency in the United States, recommended that immunization be given priority to healthcare professionals as well as residents of the retirement homes, or 24 million people.
But four days after the launch of a historic immunization campaign against COVID-19 with the first American injection of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine, on the arm of a New York nurse, the congressional doctor invited all elected officials from the House and Senate to get vaccinated, in the name of “continuity of government”.
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Democratic Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, 80, Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, 78, immediately rolled up their sleeves, received an injection, and called on their compatriots to do the same.
To dispel the mistrust of many Americans, US Vice President Mike Pence and future President Joe Biden have been vaccinated live on American television.
“There is nothing to worry about”, wanted to reassure Joe Biden, 78, who will be the oldest American president in history when he takes office on January 20.
The governors of Texas and Kentucky, two states badly affected by the pandemic, are also due to receive the vaccine on Tuesday, and future vice-president Kamala Harris next week.
But the vaccination of younger politicians, and therefore less likely to contract severe forms of COVID-19, has sparked an outcry.
The immunization of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 31-year-old star of the American left and young elected to the House of Representatives, did not go unnoticed, meticulously documented on her Instagram account.
“I will never ask you to do something if I myself was not ready to do it,” pleaded “AOC”.
What are the most common side effects? Should you get vaccinated if you have already had COVID? The Democrat took the opportunity to answer questions from Internet users.
But the elected has also suffered a rain of criticism, especially from her own camp.
“We are no more important than frontline workers, teachers, etc. who make sacrifices every day, “denounced on Twitter Ilhan Omar, another emblematic elected member of the Young Democrats, yet close to” AOC “.
Tulsi Gabbard, representative of Hawaii and former Democratic primary candidate for the presidential election, believes that the priority vaccination of policies is a “bad public health strategy”.
“I had planned to be vaccinated, but in solidarity with our seniors, I will not do it before they have the possibility,” said the elected 39-year-old.
Republican elected officials, who had minimized the severity of the virus, are now severely criticized for being among the first to be vaccinated.
This is the case of Republican elected representative from Iowa Joni Ernst, accused of having relayed conspiracy theories on the virus. Others, like Senators Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham, are paying the price for their closeness to Donald Trump, who denigrated the wearing of masks and held campaign rallies where sanitary guidelines were not followed.
“Congress has literally done nothing for the past eight months. Now they’re cutting the line, ”New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu said on Twitter. “It’s scandalous. And insulting. ”