Squad Split: Ilhan Omar furious with AOC for getting Covid-19 vaccine before elderly and frontline staff

'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,' said Omar


                            Squad Split: Ilhan Omar furious with AOC for getting Covid-19 vaccine before elderly and frontline staff
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar (Getty Images)

It is not often that one sees the ‘Squad’ finding itself divided on issues. The four women of color who make up the informal team are heavily opinionated on issues related to opposition to President Donald Trump or Israel. But now, it has seen a rare disunity and it has happened over getting the coronavirus vaccine. Ilhan Omar, the Somalia-born representative from Minnesota and a member of the ‘Squad’, has taken on some of her colleagues for taking the shot before frontline workers and the elderly. 

On Monday, December 21, responding to a tweet from author Anand Giridharadas who questioned the political leaders getting inoculated before others, Omar said: “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.”



 

A day before on Sunday, December 20, Omar tweeted a similar message with a link of her talks with CNN where she reacted to early reports that White House staff would have access to the Covid-19 vaccine before most Americans. “It’s now clear that we don’t have enough vaccines for everybody and there is a shortage of supply, we have to prioritize those who need it most. 

“That’s why it’s disturbing to see members be first to get vaccine while most frontline workers, elderly and infirm in our districts, wait.”



 

“Our frontline workers who've made the sacrifice to make the country run should be the priority, people who've been disproportionately impacted should be the priority,” the 38-year-old lawmaker, who won her re-election bid last month, added then. 

AOC showed her vaccination live on Instagram

Other members of the ‘Squad’, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY) and Ayanna Pressley (Massachusetts), got the shots recently and encouraged others to take it once it becomes available on a wide scale. Ocasio-Cortez or ‘AOC’ even detailed her inoculation live on Instagram account on Saturday, December 19, saying the members of the Congress “are urged to take it” as part of the “continuity of governance plan”. The 32-year-old was found wearing two masks on the occasion.

Senator Rand Paul (Getty Images)

Kentucky's Republican Senator Rand Paul, who had Covid-19 in March, also slammed AOC for taking the vaccine early. On Monday, he told reporters on Capitol Hill: “I think it would be unconscionable for somebody who’s had it to get in front of somebody who hasn't had it to take a vaccine. I think it's unconscionable for AOC, who's 30 years old, to be smiling gleefully and getting the vaccine when you got 85-year-old people in nursing homes who haven't gotten it.” He also said the same in a tweet later in the day in which he said: “It is inappropriate for me - who has already gotten the virus/has immunity - to get in front of elderly/healthcare workers.” 



 

The Trump administration was found taking contradictory stands over its officials getting the vaccine before others. While a spokesperson of the administration said on Sunday that top officials in the three branches of the government would be among the first to get vaccinated, Trump himself said later the same day that most of the White House staff members would have to wait. 

High-ranking officials like Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence, however, got the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine last Friday, December 18. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also got the shots the same day. President-elect Joe Biden also received his first dose on Monday, saying he took it to encourage the people to get prepared when the shot is available to take. “There’s nothing to worry about,” he said.

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