Top Washington politicians getting COVID-19 vaccine before health care workers draws ire
Vice President Mike Pence is one of many politicians getting the COVID-19 vaccine within the first weeks that it's available. But are they getting it ahead of the country's most vulnerable population?
Pence, Second Lady Karen Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are among those getting the vaccine in front of cameras. It comes after the Capitol physician informed all members of Congress that they are now eligible for the shots under government continuity guidelines. All 535 members have been asked to make appointments to be vaccinated.
How do Long Islanders feel about politicians getting vaccine before all health care workers and nursing home residents have?
"I think the health care workers are the ones who are protecting us, they should be getting it first," said one person.
"I think at this point, whoever can get it, should get it," says Chris Auer, of Bethpage. "Politicians, they have to go around and take care of all the things around here, so yes they should get it also."
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that in New York, politics won't play a role.
"This is not going to be done by the political system, the state controls the dispersal and guidelines on the vaccine," says Cuomo.
Michael Chacon, with the New York State Nurses Association for the Long Island region, says politicians shouldn't be getting the doses now.
"I think it's a little bit self-serving for the politicians to stand in line and say we're doing this for the good of the community," he says. "Every dose that's being used as a political ploy, it's not in the hands of someone who truly needs it."