Coronavirus

Vermont Is Prioritizing 'BIPOC' Households for Vaccines. That's Almost Certainly Unconstitutional.

Anyone 16 or older and identifying as BIPOC can get a vaccine in Vermont now. Whites under the age of 50 will have to wait a little longer.

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Vermont is prioritizing people of color for vaccine eligibility over the state's white residents, provoking no small amount of controversy and constitutional concerns.

On Thursday, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) announced on Twitter that anyone aged 16 or older who identities as black, indigenous, or a person of color (BIPOC), or lives in a household with someone who does, can get a COVID-19 vaccine.

That would seem to disadvantage the state residents who are white and don't live with anyone identifying as BIPOC. The state currently restricts vaccine eligibility for those people to those 50 years and older, unless they qualify for a vaccine by virtue of being a health care worker, employed in public safety, having a high-risk health condition, or being a parent or caregiver of someone with a high-risk health condition.

Mark Levine, the state's health commissioner, told VTDigger that people of color are being prioritized for the vaccine because of their higher rates of COVID-19 and lower rates of vaccination.

All Vermonters 16 or older, white or not, should be able to register for a vaccine appointment by April 19, said Levine.

Some 34 percent of Vermont's population has received at least one vaccine dose, making it the ninth most vaccinated state in the country. It ranks middle of the pack in how many of its allocated vaccines it's actually administered.

The prioritization of vaccine eligibility along explicitly racial lines is unconstitutional, argues Cato Institute legal expert Walter Olson in a December 2020 op-ed for The Detroit News written in response to the Department of Veterans Affairs opening up vaccines to black, Asian, Native American, and Hispanic veterans.

"This runs into the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which says citizens of all races are entitled to the equal protection of the laws. The Supreme Court has long interpreted this to mean that the government may ordinarily not dole out valuable benefits, or impose harms, based on a citizen's race," writes Olson.

It's true that people of color are more likely to be frontline workers or have health conditions that make them more at risk of COVID-19 complications and death. However, directing vaccines to those higher-risk people can, and should, still be done through race-neutral categorization, says Olson.

"Many sensible priority rules do incidentally protect relatively more minority persons — and that's fine, so long as the decision is based on the neutral grounds rather than being a pretext aimed at getting results based on race," he writes.

All these problems identified with the V.A.'s policy would also apply to Vermont's vaccination racial preferences.

In November, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted to prioritize essential workers over the elderly for vaccine distribution, in part, on the grounds that the elderly skew white, reports The Washington Free Beacon.

The fact that we have COVID-19 vaccines that are both safe and effective is a true miracle of modern medicine. Getting them in as many arms as possible should be public policy goal number one. That is only undermined when public health officials at any level of government start creating arbitrary, likely unconstitutional categories for who can get a vaccine next.

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  1. Are there black people in Vermont?

    1. Of course there are. His name is Jared. He’s a really nice guy.

      1. Why is vermont just now joining the confederacy? Don’t they know the confederacy got it’s ass beat?

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      2. Vermont is, in fact, the second whitest state in the union ( next to Maine). Vermont makes Idaho look like a Spike Lee film.

    2. More than there are in Minnesota. And I believe both of them died: Prince and Kirby Puckett.

      1. You forgot about George Floyd.

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    6. You know the last time I looked in a box of Crayola Crayons, white was a color!!

      1. I’m old enough to remember the color called “flesh” that was the skin color of a white guy.

  2. Discriminating against white people is Constitutional because the Constitution doesn’t mean dick anymore and the coloreds want their revenge — and the people that want the coloreds voting for them will give them their path to revenge.

    If you want to see where this country is going to be in 10-20 years, look at South Africa.

    1. 15 percent is a far cry from 80 percent. 88 if we include the “Coloured.”

      Point’s taken, though. Since Africa is where the next projected population boom is supposed to be (World Economic Forum blurb on it, here: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/01/the-children-s-continent/), I imagine those percentages will rise. Especially with much easier international travel, those “2 out of every 5 new babies born in the world” will be able to find their way to the US and Europe. If they will still want to by then.

      And won’t we be all the richer because of it?

      1. Well, if those future African immigrants are like today’s, then I’m OK with that.

      2. “88” and “Coloured” in the same sentence.

        Well… it’s “Reason” so I suppose that sort of thing is to be expected.

    2. You should take a look at the numbers on that one. The white population in South Africa is under 8%.

    3. “White Cargo” is a book about slavery in colonial America. Most 17th-century slaves were indentured whites. A seized boatload of Angolans added color to the peculiar institution. Irish slaves quickly taught their African comrades such modern skills as lock picking and musket-loading and with the success of those operations slavery became segregated and peculiar. Communist and mohammedan régimes in Africa are lately bringing back that Old Time Religion.

  3. It may be unconstitutional, but it’s going to take a year or more to get a case in front of the Supreme Court. In the meantime, the state is done handing out the vaccines and ended the program so even if the case isn’t mooted out, the best the Court can say is that it was unconstitutional. That’s the way these things work.

    1. It’s moot!

      1. That seems to be the new paradigm. Until it happens, you lack standing. After it happens, it is moot.

        Genius!

        1. Well geez, what do you want the court to do? Unvaccinate black people?

          1. No, I think the right answer is for the war on white people to stop. It does nothing to end racial tension, and is only going to exacerbate things until something really bad happens.

            We need to be building bridges, not walls. This ruling in VT is a wall.

            1. Conditional:

              The war on “rich” white people.

              Because when we were NOT running from the police, we were busy stealing candy from babies.

              It’s so damn unfair! Where is the equity?

    2. ^This. Biggest imaginable impact would be a death somehow attributable to the delay in getting access to vaccination, and that would be one huge stretch.

    3. Even saying it was unconstitutional would be useful. It would be a precedent making the abuse harder to be repeated.

      The argument against mootness would be “capable of repetition yet evading review”.

      1. Exactly didn’t they do the same after they took peoples gun during Katrina hurricane. it was after the fact the court said you can’t do that. if I’m wrong please correct me.

      2. It’s what the gun grabbers do all of the time

    4. Bingo!

      It’s easier to seek forgiveness than it is to ask for permission.

  4. anyone aged 16 or older who identities as black, indigenous, or a person of color (BIPOC), or lives in a household with someone who does,

    “Hi. I live in a household with someone who identities as a person of color. Where’s my jab?”

    1. Yep. Anyone can identify as being in any of those categories, whether their genetics confirms it or not, just as Kamala Harris can be either Black or Asian, depending on who’s more downtrodden that day.

    2. The point is not to vaccinate more black people. If that happened, at least we would have a legitimate benefit: more black people vaccinated.
      That isn’t going to happen. It’s all based on self-reporting so anybody can say, “Yeah, I identify as Micronesian.”
      The purposes and effects of the law are:
      a. virtue signaling
      b. establishing the principle of minority supremacy

      1. I’m Spartacus !

  5. Almost certainly! ALMOST! Like, we have to think about whether or not a legislature choosing to deliver healthcare only to people of a certain race is racist!

    1. Calm down, Diane. I’m sure those legislators will all resign when they realize they’ve violated their Oath of Office.

    2. Mark Levine, the state’s health commissioner, told VTDigger that people of color are being prioritized for the vaccine because of their higher rates of COVID-19 and lower rates of vaccination.

      But they were exempt from masks!

      1. many Black and Latino Americans didn’t feel comfortable following its advice. In their cases, wearing a mask could make others perceive them as criminal, activists and educators told CNN

        Oh, FFS!

        1. Well, when you are carrying a looted TV through a broken plate glass window……..

      2. And it’s fecking Vermont.
        Vermont is 95% white and like 225 (out of about 600k) have died. I’d say odds are pretty good that no people of color have died of Covid in VT.
        So not only are they being disgustingly racist, but they are doing purely for symbolic value.

        1. Virtue signaling 101.

        2. Where us Bob Newhart when we need him?

    3. It’s true that people of color are more likely to be frontline workers or have health conditions that make them more at risk of COVID-19 complications and death. However, directing vaccines to those higher-risk people can, and should, still be done through race-neutral categorization, says Olson.

      “Many sensible priority rules do incidentally protect relatively more minority persons — and that’s fine, so long as the decision is based on the neutral grounds rather than being a pretext aimed at getting results based on race,” he writes.

      And they admit the racist nature of their policy by reversing the conditions. “Frontline workers are more likely to be [a term invented in the critical race theory section of the academies that is now mainstream usage by your HR department and friendly neighborhood journalist] so… incidental!”

      No, if frontline workers are more susceptible to COVID and a lot of them happen to be minorities, then prioritize frontline workers and you’ll catch the minorities. See how this works without being racist?

      1. Old people, fat people, healthcare workers. That’s who needs it and prioritizing those things would have caught the minority people who are at particular risk.

        1. Why fat people? Are they victims now?

          1. Diabetes and high bp mostly. Indicators that covid has a greater chance to turn serious.

    4. These Reason writers are so goddamn principled it’s unfucking real. This dipshit could watch his daughter getting raped right in front of him and he wouldn’t even have the courage to say “ummmm…excuse me sir, I believe that what your doing is a violation of rights as a sovereig……oh I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to break your concentration.”

      1. We libertarians are great believers in the Second Amendment, which provides a perfect remedy in situations such as the one you describe.

  6. Vermont Is Prioritizing ‘BIPOC’ Households for Vaccines.

    Cool! Now do Voting!

  7. Folks don’t let your friends and family vote democrat.

    1. No, let them vote Democrat, that way you know who the racists are.

      1. The governor of VT is a republican.

  8. The State of Oregon wanted to do this. They were shot down and backed off.

    1. No, they were not ‘shot down’. they backed off as a protective measure for minorities after the racist backlash. The fear was that minorities would be targeted by white supremacists when all the black folks were walking around sans masks.

    2. Just in case you think the message from the media wasn’t clear enough.

      The problem wasn’t the rule, it was the racist backlash against a perfectly reasonable rule.

      1. Hence my position that Orwell was a poker and completely underselling it.

        Doublethink and the Ministry of Truth are tame by today’s standards….

        1. Thanks google, but I really meant Piker. It is an actual word.

      2. It was not a “perfectly reasonable rule”. It was a pretty flagrantly racist rule based on irrational fear of “profiling” by undetermined and never-named “others”. Wearing a mask does not make a black person look any more criminal than a white person. Bigots who are going to profile based on skin color will not change their opinions just because of a mask – not in an environment of state-level mask mandates at any rate.

        Despite the county’s self-serving rationalizations, the backlash was not itself racist – it was backlash against a policy that harmed the very people it claimed to help.

        1. Despite the county’s self-serving rationalizations, the backlash was not itself racist – it was backlash against a policy that harmed the very people it claimed to help.

          That’s not what the media said. Are you questioning trusted authorities on facts?

          1. I’m liking this latest move by you, Paul, to try and unseat OBL’s top parody spot.

            1. It’s best not to be racist head on. I find it more useful to marginalize minorities while claiming to help lift them up.

              1. You’re a few decades late to the strategy, but I guess it’s never to late to learn to be a duplicitous piece of shit to gain as much power as possible and be completely indifferent to the consequences. When can I expect the honor to be able to check your name on a ballot?

      3. We will have to disagree on this. As a resident of Oregon (nowhere near Portland FWIW), I have a rather different view. As to the “rule,” showing preference based on race is clearly unconstitutional. The sad part it is, if the current State government wasn’t so interested in seeming to be “woke,” they had other ways to achieve the same result: using criteria such as low-income neighborhoods, population density, etc., which would have had the essentially the same effect, and been perfectly legal, and is pretty common.

        1. Oh wait, did I miss the /sarc font?

          1. I find that if the jokes have to be explained, they lose something.

            1. Stop acting white!
              Or
              Start acting white!

              Not sure how it applies

            2. Yeah. I haven’t had my dose of coffee yet. Yeah. That’s the ticket. I’m going with that.

        2. So BIPOCS are low income?

          Why is income or wealth even a consideration?

          How is that different from race, sexual orientation or religion?

          Divide and conquer is working. Look how it has got us arguing semantics here while this crap goes on.

  9. It’s true that people of color are more likely to be frontline workers or have health conditions that make them more at risk of COVID-19 complications and death.

    In Vermont? I kind of doubt it. Vermont is the whitest state, or damn close to it.

  10. That little phrase..”identifying as”… That is the biggest thing here.

    They have taken the intersectional lingo to a new level, dragging this over from the Transgender world.

    Remember, these are the same people who say that learning Karate or wearing a Chinese dress to prom is cultural appropriation and therefore evil. But wearing dreadlocks and “identifying as” a black woman is not only OK, it moves you to the front of the line.

    They have to know that they are insane. That really isn’t the question anymore. The real question is, why is everyone else still pretending that they don’t think they are insane?

    1. Cyto, I think innately, rational people are a little frightened by this utter spectacle. They think to themselves, “It could never happen here”. Guess what? It is happening here, and we are seeing it.

      We are destroying what took centuries to build, and doing it quickly.

    2. That little phrase..”identifying as”… That is the biggest thing here.

      Here is some libertarian commentary on that.

      1. Man. Spiked is really good.

        Too bad we don’t have anything like that here…

    3. “The real question is, why is everyone else still pretending that they don’t think they are insane?”

      Pain. The sanction by the Mob. Losing employment and business. And that’s just for starters.

    4. Because they lack the guts to gun them down when they loot and burn?

  11. Some states are doing it by zip code for basically the same effect.

    Race is not a significant factor either, except for virtue signalers.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32743602/
    “Black race (OR 1.43, 95%CI 1.14-1.78) and Hispanic ethnicity (OR 1.81, 95%CI 1.50-2.18) were identified as risk factors for admission, but, among discharged patients, age-adjusted in-hospital mortality was not significantly different among racial and ethnic groups.”

    1. Maryland is doing it by zip code.

      If I understood Larry the Hut’s press conference correctly, the Feds are coming in to set up vax stations in select “underserved communities.”

      Arguably, however, this makes some sense. A lot of people in those places don’t have a car and understandably aren’t going to take two whole days out of their lives to catch four connecting busses to get to some mass vax center 30 miles away. Also, I think that people from the suburbs are still allowed to drive down to those poor people vax centers and get their shots if they want to. (But we’ll see how many virtue signaling soccer moms actually end up doing that. My guess is something close to zero.)

  12. “On Thursday, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) announced on Twitter that anyone aged 16 or older who identities as black, indigenous, or a person of color (BIPOC), or lives in a household with someone who does, can get a COVID-19 vaccine.”

    Further proof that republicans are racist.

    (I do notice that Reason does not use (D) nearly as much as it uses (R). Anyone wonder why?)

    1. They don’t actually Cite what Democrats have said?

  13. I’m a rather dark skinned half Greek. Think I would have a good case in Vermont that I should count as BIPOC by their standards.

    1. If Elizabeth Warren can claim to be indigenous, then anyone who isn’t albino can sure as heck say they are colored

      1. Fauxcahontas has every right to lie about her ancestry, and we have every right to despise her as a lying sack of shit.

        -jcr

    2. What are they going to do, disagree while staring at their shoes? Screw them. I can identify to be anything. Be sure to tell your kids that Mom slept around so they can be anything that suits them.

      1. I identify as an attack helicopter of color.

        1. All well and good, but don’t let them actually load on the ‘armed’ parts.

  14. I see by the apathy in the comments, the brainwashing is complete. Half of the movies over the last 60 years have all got some subtle jab against white people, it’s always cleverly played up as the white person is racist and of course we hate all racists. I just watched such a seemingly innocuous, “Back to the future” where are they slept in at time stamp; 40:45 “A colored mayor, that’ll be the day” and at 1:21:02 “spooks, this don’t concern you”. By the time that movie was made in 1985 the public had already been so convinced but I’ll whites are disgusting racist but this had been just another subtle reaffirmation in case their programming was getting weak.

    1. Whaddaya know… a whining white-lamb snowflake sockpuppet!

      1. Clearly you are a liberal because they are the first to attempt to do humanize through insult why don’t you call me the N-word

  15. and here I thougth the BIPOC had something to do with being bipolar… sheesh these new acronyms are cropping up almost as quickly as new imaginary strains of “da Vie Russ”.

    Yes, that IS contra our US and most likley VT’s constitutions. NO discrimination, positive or negative, on the basis of race or colour or national origin. They’ve got all three covered in one bogus move.

    Funny thing, if far fewer PONC (people of NO colour., see a new one just hatched) get take the jab, that populationi just might incraese as those who got the poke get removed from the gene pool because of the contents of that syringe. It IS happening at alarming rates in places…. and likely soon to arrive at a location frightingly close to YOU.

  16. “Identifies”…the reality is that the jackass governor KNOWS he cannot discriminate and so will let identifiers have the poison.

    1. To the snitches go the spoils?

  17. I’m guessing that all 10 of the bipoc Vermonters aren’t going to slow down the PONC Vermonters from getting the jab.

  18. Chief White Halfoat in Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 is as right today as when the story was first published: “Racial prejudice is a terrible thing, Yossarian. It really is.” … … … (redacted) …

  19. Hey VT: “People of color” is itself a racist term. And including everybody but whitey is itself racist.

    We are headed back to the good ol’ days of outright discrimination. To the back of the bus! Or vaccine line. Who’da thunk that the woke lefties are no better than the anti-black racists of the 60s?

    1. Technically, white is a color. Science!

  20. I have no problem with bipocs getting the jab, as long as they’re friends of mine, and I don’t know anyone in Vermont. And I’ll donate my dose as well. The US has a long history of medical experimentation on “bipoc”s, syphillis, radiation, now this. What the final body count will be no one can tell, but I’m sure that today’s government will be compared unfavorably with the Nazi regime.

  21. People need to understand that the vast majority of Vermont’s BIPOC folks are refugee immigrants and their kids, many of the adults do speak little or no English and most families live in multiple generation homes, this is simply good public health policy to address their higher vulnerability relative to the general population.

    1. No, racism is never good public policy.

  22. Blacks and Native Americans make up a GIANT 1.8% of the Vermont population

    Hispanics and those of TWO races make another GIANT 4%

  23. They don’t actually Cite what Democrats have said?

  24. Nice fellas

    you take my reply and leave it all alone

    Gotta show folks how Fascists Behave no matter what, eh Bois!

  25. Question to Levine the State Med Direc? Don’t tell me…those darn kulaks and Romanian Peasants…unworthy of vaccines? somethings never change

  26. I am 65, white and waiting until 2042 for my vaccination!

    1. Good move.
      At the rate of government progress, they should be done with the five year follow ups on the long term effects.

  27. The at risk populations should have had plenty of opportunity by now. The next step should be just open it up to anybody who wants one.

  28. Unconstitutional to prioritize race. But it’s a perfectly acceptable policy alternative to actively infect as many Americans as possible because you don’t understand what herd immunity is.

    1. Got any more fantasies to share, pinhead?

      -jcr

  29. Gotta keep those liquor stores from being robbed.

  30. There is institutional racism in this nation. It is rampant within our government.

    1. Yeah, has been for decades. It’s called affirmative action.

  31. What has the constitution got to do with anything?

    1. Exactly. It doesn’t mean a thing when it’s repeatedly violated as a partisan weapon.

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