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GOP move to stop vaccine distribution to vulnerable communities

They say race and socio-economic status should not be factors in who gets the vaccine.
(WJHG/WECP)
Published: Feb. 26, 2021 at 7:54 AM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Republicans who control the Michigan Senate have moved to stop the state from distributing additional COVID-19 vaccine doses to more vulnerable communities.

They say race and socio-economic status should not be factors in who gets the vaccine.

The state health department is adjusting its allocations of doses with a “social vulnerability index” multiplier, which includes indicators such as poverty, unemployment, and lack of transportation.

“We must be smart in how we use this federal assistance to maximize the benefits to everyone in our state,” said Senate Appropriations Chairman Jim Stamas (R-Midland), in a statement following the vote.

“To ensure we effectively use this vital relief throughout the pandemic, we are sending out nearly $2 billion in relief immediately and setting aside additional resources to be accessed as funding needs come up.”

Democrats say the move to stop the service that was a part of the funding plan approved yesterday is “unconscionable.”

“It’s absolutely unconscionable that while we are using the social vulnerability index to protect the very people who got the virus the most, who were the most vulnerable, still are the most vulnerable, and it happens to be people of color … all of a sudden you’re, like, racially aware?” said Sen. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor).

During the Senate session, Sen. Rosemary Bayer (D-Beverly Hills) tweeted saying “Racism is alive and well in the Michigan Senate.”

State Sen. Stephanie Chang, D-Detroit, tweeted “Don’t let ignorance & racism get in the way of serving your residents.”

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