Columnists, Gold Dome, Governor Polis, Jon Caldara, Media, Politics, Uncategorized

Caldara: Move over granny; press, politicians jump vaccine line

My parents are in their upper 80s and since the beginning of this pandemic have been wisely isolated in their home, a self-imposed house arrest. That’s close to a year now.

Zoom calls with their children and particularly their grandchildren have been a poor substitute for the contact they need. My kids have missed bonding with them, a loss which could ripple through their lives as the years go on.

My folks have gone without the greatest joy of their lives, time with family. And the caretakers they need to come to their home have been severely limited. If family shouldn’t visit them then certainly strangers shouldn’t. Their quality of life has suffered.

As I write this neither of my parents have been able to get a COVID vaccine. And not for lack for constantly trying.

My son who has Down syndrome and an underlying heart condition — he required open heart surgery at 3 weeks old — hasn’t received a vaccine.

So, who has had access to a vaccine? Our state legislators. Yep. State legislators can jump in front of the most vulnerable people in the state including the elderly and handicapped.

So much for a “citizen” legislature. All people are equal. But some are more equal than others.

Of course, the press around Colorado have been screaming about this blatant inequity, filling newsprint and airwaves with their righteous indignation. Wait. Um. No sorry that was just a dream I had.

The media hasn’t lit a fire over this hypocrisy because they too are allowed to skip the que, jump over my aging, home-bound parents and compromised son to get the vaccine. And my family is hardly unique.

Our governor, through his Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), has set the vaccine rules based upon their stated set of priorities.

Let me quote them directly. “Our focus in determining vaccine prioritization has been based on: 1. How we can save the most lives. 2. Ending the crisis that has been brought on by the pandemic as quickly as possible.”

I wholly agree with these priorities. So, tell me please, just HOW does giving a vaccine to a perfectly healthy legislator or some Channel 9 eye candy reporter instead of a highly vulnerable elderly person or immunocompromised kid save the most lives?

Quite simply it doesn’t. It doesn’t in any way shape or form. It is repugnant and it will cost lives.

The governor should rescind the carve-out for his cronies in the Democratic-controlled government and his toadies in the press. The only justification he needs is that his CDPHE will adhere to their first priority — save the most lives.

Is there any wonder why people’s trust in government is at an all-time low? Self-dealing like this is a big part. Through this pandemic, government workers didn’t lose their jobs. They don’t own small businesses, so they didn’t lose them. Our leaders and their machinery are out of touch. And this is why Trump won four years ago.

Distrust of media is also at an all-time high. And giving “essential” reporters the chance to jump the line only adds to that distrust. And it should.

The news business has been a tough one in the last decade. Reporters’ jobs are often hanging by a thread, ready to be cut in the next re-organization. Understandably reporters today always have one eye on their next possible job.

Where do they go for that new gig? Very often they sell themselves to the government as some agency’s public information officer, their mouthpiece. It’s a respectable enough job.

So, if you’re a current reporter tasked with the Fourth Estate duty of constant vigilance over government officials, and you know your next job could well hinge on your relationships with those very officials, how do you report on the seamy underbelly of government? You really want to take down the team you’ll be asking for a job?

And Polis has an interest in taking care of his sycophantic press. Letting them jump the line over the elderly is certainly a sign of how loved they are!

You know what would make a great news story? A list of our 100 legislators and which ones took Polis’s offer to trample over the elderly to get a shot. Another blockbuster story? A list of “essential” journalists who joined them.

I doubt anyone will stop the presses.

Jon Caldara is president of the Independence Institute, a free market think tank in Denver.

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