Vermont’s governor opened up his state’s COVID-19 vaccination eligibility this week to those who identify as black, indigenous or a person of color, prompting some critics — including a former New York Giants linebacker — to tackle the move as “racist.”
Gov. Phil Scott tweeted Thursday that if “you or anyone in your household identifies as Black, Indigenous, or a person of color (BIPOC), including anyone with Abenaki or other First Nations heritage, all household members who are 16 years or older can sign up to get a vaccine!”
The state won’t open up vaccination appointments for everyone until April 19. It is allowing anyone 16 and older, regardless of race, to get the shot now if they have a high-risk health condition.
Some labeled the Republican governor’s decision “illegal” and “stupid” — and discriminatory.
Ex- Giant Bryan Kehl weighed in Friday, tweeting from a verified account at the governor: “Racial discrimination is back on the menu.” Kehl, 36, a Brigham Young University graduate, played for the Giants in the 2008 and 2009 seasons.
“You are a racist and a bigot,” another critic railed on Twitter.
“So 45 year old white cancer cancer victims can’t get a vaccine but otherwise healthy teenage people of color can get it?” Katherine Prudhomme O’Brien, a Republican state representative in neighboring New Hampshire, tweeted Saturday.
“Thanks for clarifying the actual definition of racism,” tweeted Tommy DeFrancesco.
Discovery Institute researcher Christopher Rufo told Fox News that “Vermont’s program of racially separated standards, which denies medical services to a specific racial group, is a flagrant violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.”
Inez Stepman, a senior policy analyst at the Independent Women’s Forum, called the move “appalling and a betrayal of the promise of America.”
Vermont’s COVID-19 webs reportedly said the state is seeing “to address the significant disparities in the rates of COVID-19 infection, hospitalization, and death among Vermonters who are Black, Indigenous and people of color.”