Who runs Make-a-Wish? Foundation slammed for offering air travel wishes only to vaccinated kids

Make-a-Wish Foundation was slammed as CEO Richard Davis said they would the wishes of children to travel by air or attend large social gatherings

                            Who runs Make-a-Wish? Foundation slammed for offering air travel wishes only to vaccinated kids
Richard K Davis CEO of Make-A-Wish Foundation (YouTube/Make-A-Wish America)

Unvaccinated children have been denied wishes involving flights or big gatherings by the Make-a-Wish Foundation, which is built on the premise of granting wishes to critically ill children, despite the fact that kids under the age of 12 are not yet eligible for Covid-19 jab.

It was reported last August that children might be silent spreaders of the coronavirus as the viral load found in children overshadowed the levels detected in hospitalized adults. A study in September confirmed that children could still have the potential to spread the virus even if they had antibodies.


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To make matters worse, new strains of the virus are evolving to make things more difficult: the most recent one being the Delta variant, which the WHO touts as "the most transmissible of all variants". However, according to research from Texas A&M University's School of Public Health, around 22% of Americans consider themselves anti-vaxxers.


Who runs Make-a-Wish?

Make-a-Wish Foundation is spearheaded by CEO and president Richard K Davis. The company is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. Frank Shankwitz, an Arizona Highway Patrol officer co-founded the Make-a-Wish Foundation in 1980 along with his wife Kitty and several others and served as its first president after helping a terminally sick youngster achieve his dream of becoming a motorcycle cop, according to the Make-A-Wish website.

Davis, an American businessman, has served as the present CEO of the nonprofit organization since January 2, 2019. Davis previously served as Executive Chairman and President of U.S. Bancorp. Davis previously served on the boards of the Twin Cities YMCA, Minneapolis Art Institute, University of Minnesota Foundation, National American Red Cross, University of San Diego, Itasca Group, Dow Chemical, and the Financial Services Roundtable. He is also the lead director of Xcel Energy Inc. He was awarded the Presidential Lifetime Volunteer Service award in 2007.


Davis took to a video message to relay on Thursday, June 24, that those who wish to travel by air and attend large gatherings can do so from September 15, provided they are two weeks past full vaccination. Critically ill children and their families will need to be two weeks past the completion of either a one-dose or two-dose vaccinations, he said. While Make-a-Wish will not ask for proof of vaccination, parents will be asked to sign a document stating that they and their children are in compliance with the guidelines.

"We've approached this responsibility with a focus and diligence for your family's health and safety," he said, according to Fox News, adding that his decision was reached after consulting doctors and medical professionals on the National Medical Advisory Council, as well as the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Since the beginning of the Covid-19 epidemic, Make-A-Wish has granted over 6,500 wishes to wish children and families, both unvaccinated and vaccinated.


Despite the statement, none of the Covid-19 vaccinations currently available for children under the age of 12 has been licensed. Individuals 12 years and older are eligible for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination, whereas those 18 years and older are eligible for the Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines. After receiving backlash on social media for its intention to reject unvaccinated children, Make-A-Wish said in a statement to FOX Business that it will "not require anyone to get vaccinated to receive a wish."

"We understand that there are many families whose children aren't eligible for the vaccine yet, and we also know that there are families who aren’t choosing to get the vaccine. We respect everyone’s freedom of choice," a Make-A-Wish spokesperson said. "We will continue to grant wishes for all eligible children, including children who have not been vaccinated." Unvaccinated families that do not match the present standards for air travel or large gatherings will be accommodated by deferring the desire or choosing an alternate wish that involves car travel or a visit to a local event, the Daily Mail reported.