Rep. Ilhan Omar called it ‘disturbing’ that her fellow lawmakers, including her 31-year-old ‘squad’-mate Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, were able to get vaccinated against the coronavirus before frontline workers and the elderly.
‘It’s now clear that we don’t have enough vaccines for everybody and there is a shortage of supply, we have to prioritize those who need it most,’ Omar tweeted Sunday. ‘That’s why it’s disturbing to see members be first to get vaccine while most frontline workers, elderly and infirm in our districts, wait.’
Omar linked to an interview she did earlier in the month on CNN, when she had argued the same thing when early reports said White House staff would have access to the COVID-19 vaccine before most Americans.
Rep. Ilhan Omar called it ‘disturbing’ that members of Congress were getting the coronavirus vaccine before frontline workers and the elderly
Omar tweeted her disgust Sunday, linking to a CNN interview she did earlier in the months when she argued White House staff also shouldn’t get the vaccine first
Among the lawmakers to get the COVID-19 vaccine was 31-year-old ‘squad’ member, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who documented the experience on her Instagram
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (bottom) flashes a peace sign and is surrounded by Sen. James Lankford (left), Rep. Jamie Raskin (center), and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (right)
‘Our frontline workers who’ve made the sacrifice to make the country run should be the priority, people who’ve been disproportionately impacted should be the priority,’ she said then.
President Donald Trump later tweeted that he believed White House staff shouldn’t get the vaccine before other, more vulnerable segments of the U.S. population.
Those in the U.S. government began getting the Pfizer Friday, with Vice President Mike Pence getting the first injection alongside his wife Karen and Surgeon General Jerome Adams.
Later in the day, both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell got the vaccine.
Those in leadership weren’t the only members of Congress able to get the vaccine – it was made available to everyone.
Ocasio-Cortez explained that she was able to get vaccinated ahead of most Americans because of the government’s ‘continuity of governance’ plan
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio took some heat for getting the vaccine after appearing at President Donald Trump’s packed, nearly mask-less rallies and downplaying the dangers of the pandemic
Sen. Rand Paul reiterated a point he made to reporters Monday on his Twitter account saying that he should be among the last to be vaccinated, since he already had COVID-19, and also knocked AOC for taking it
Ocasio-Cortez, who will be the youngest member of Congress until Republican Madison Cawthorn gets sworn-in in January, detailed getting the vaccine on her Instagram story.
AOC said she found out she and other members of Congress would have access to the vaccine because of the ‘continuity of governance’ plan, ‘basically a national security measure,’ she explained to her Instagram followers.
Republicans, including Sen. Marco Rubio who downplayed the virus and attended President Donald Trump’s packed rallies, also went ahead and got the vaccine.
CNN commentator Ana Navarro-Cardenas lashed out at Rubio for being among those to get vaccinated first.
‘Young, healthy Senator, who spoke at rallies packed w/thousands w/o masks, who supports Trump -who’s down-played COVID & mocked those who wear masks, is 1st to get vaccine while most medical workers, elderly & infirm Americans, wait, Navarro Cardenas tweeted. ‘Congratulations on ur privilege, @marcorubio.’
But not every Republican lined up to get vaccinated.
Sen. Rand Paul, who had COVID-19 in March, said he should be among the last to get a vaccine – and knocked Ocasio-Cortez for getting it.
‘I think it would be unconscionable for somebody who’s had it to get in front of somebody who hasn’t had it to take a vaccine,’ Paul told reporters on Capitol Hill Monday. ‘I think it’s unconscionable for AOC, who’s 30 years old, to be smiling gleefully and getting the vaccine when you got 85-year-old people in nursing homes who haven’t gotten it.’
After speaking with reporters, Paul also tweeted this point.
‘I was asked about getting vaccinated with others in Congress: It is inappropriate for me – who has already gotten the virus/has immunity – to get in front of elderly/healthcare workers,’ he wrote. ‘Same goes for AOC or any young healthy person. They should be among last, not first.’
In June, Omar lost her father, Nur Omar Mohamed, to complications from COVID-19.
More recently she’s been critical of the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic when speaking about her father’s death.
‘My father and over 300,000 people have lost their lives because of dangerous criminal neglect by Trump and his administration. My father should be here today. So many of our family members should be here today and they’re not here with us because we have leaders who didn’t care about their lives,’ she said last week in an interview with MSNBC.
‘The president, to this day, has not shown an ounce of compassion to the people who have passed away,’ she said. ‘He has still not acknowledged the devastating loss, so many of us are feeling.’
She said the administration’s failures should be investigated.
‘We have to investigate and prosecute these people who are responsible for these reckless deaths,’ Omar said.