Letter: Blame Where Blame Is Due

Letter to the Editor

In response to “Vaccine distribution highlights inequity” published Feb. 11

Judy Abel’s suggestion in last week’s Times that somehow an individual with disabilities who cannot get a vaccine “highlights inequalities” is typical woke nonsense and only diverts attention from the failures of the vaccine rollout. While we can all agree that the distribution was botched by Governor Newsom (and is an important reason why the recall effort has taken hold), for Abel to blame anyone but Newsom and Garcetti for the polices she finds inadequate is grasping at straws in a blackout. Unfortunately, looking at every issue through a left/right filter now typifies political discourse and often results in harming those one wishes to help. If, for example, someone won’t criticize our governor—or former president—for their mistakes, how can we solve real problems? If eating $300 appetizers and $800 bottles of wine with one’s lobbyist friends at French Laundry while ordering us commoners to stay at home can’t be condemned, our state is in big trouble.

But back to the vaccine. No, there are not affluent (white) people “jumping the line” unless they are politicians like AOC (credit to Congresswoman Ilian Omar for giving up her spot because she’s young and healthy and wanted someone more at risk to get the shot). Anyone can show up at the big vaccine centers between 4 and 4:30 p.m. hoping that someone with an appointment fails to show and doses are available. They are not vaccine “chasers,” as Able alleges, but smart. Leftover shots were thrown away until the media backlash forced Garcetti to change that stupid policy. It is insulting to people of color to suggest they aren’t intelligent enough to do the same. And since most vaccine centers are on the eastside it is disingenuous to suggest that somehow westsiders are stealing the innoculations from others.

The vaccine was announced six days after the Nov. 4 election—providing Governor Newsom more than enough time to set up distribution that prioritized those most at risk. Other states did this but California initially fumbled. 

Of course this is the same governor who provided unemployment payments to prisoners while unemployed Californians were left out in the cold, shut down outdoor dinning with no scientific basis, and won’t force SCE and PG&E to underground their utility poles so we suffer power shut downs like some third world banana republic.

And if that wasn’t enough, Newsome just caved to the teachers unions – his biggest campaign donors. For that alone he should be recalled. The CDC says kids don’t catch or transmit the virus, and in other states schools are open and teachers aren’t getting sick. Both kids and teachers are safer in school than almost anywhere else. If the governor had any courage, he’d order teachers back in classrooms or fire them. But now California teachers unions want to bust the vaccine line and they’ve demanded that police be defunded before they return to teaching – while the kids, especially low income minority children, aren’t learning and suffer from isolation. But if you look at this through a political filter the pressure on Newsome and Garcetti to reopen the schools will be muted and the media will be complacent in the increase in suicides among young people.

(P.S. The next group to get vaccinated will be those with underlying health conditions)

Scott Dittrich