The Corner

Politics & Policy

Medical Ethicist: Elderly Shouldn’t Get Vaccines First Because They’re Too White

As if we needed another reason to lose faith in the expert class, here is a medical ethicist in the New York Times discussing the CDC’s rollout of the coronavirus vaccine:

Harald Schmidt, an expert in ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania, said that it is reasonable to put essential workers ahead of older adults, given their risks, and that they are disproportionately minorities. “Older populations are whiter,” Dr. Schmidt said. “Society is structured in a way that enables them to live longer. Instead of giving additional health benefits to those who already had more of them, we can start to level the playing field a bit.”

This is what happens when “science” and the racial identitarianism of the modern intellectual Left collide. “Historically,” says the Times, the committees tasked with deciding this sort of thing relied on “scientific evidence to inform its decisions.” Nowadays, members are “weighing social justice concerns as well.” It would be merely obscene if ethics professors were theorizing about saving — or, rather, not saving — lives based on race. How long before half-baked social science is being used by technocrats in positions of power and influence to ration medical care? You know who else is a “medical ethicist” at the University of Pennsylvania? Ezekiel Emanuel, a Biden adviser on medical issues, who believes human beings are bits of GDP that have no real purpose once they hit a creaky 75 (with an exception made, no doubt, for the 78-year-old president-elect). Emanuel and Schmidt, in fact, co-authored a textbook titled, “Rationing and Resource Allocation in Healthcare.”

The CDC data, by the way, show it would save the most American lives to prioritize Americans over the age of 65 rather than essential workers. Emanuel might object because people are approaching the end of their usefulness. Schmidt might dissent because they may skew too white.

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