Hmmm. The Associated Press reports that several financial giants in New York received swine flu vaccine doses while other at-risk residents continue to wait in long lines for limited supplies:
Some of New York’s biggest companies, including Wall Street giants Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, received doses of swine flu vaccine for at-risk employees, drawing criticism that the hard-to-find vaccine is going first to the privileged.
Hospitals, universities and the Federal Reserve Bank also got doses of the vaccine for employees who need it the most, such as pregnant women or chronically ill workers, according to the city’s health department.
In order to receive the vaccine, companies had to have their own medical staff. Distributing large doses of the vaccine to such businesses is “a great avenue for vaccinating people at risk,” said Jessica Scaperotti, spokeswoman for the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
The Senator from Countrywide is eagerly playing the class warfare card to curry favor with blue-collar voters:
“Vaccines should go to people who need them most, not people who happen to work on Wall Street,” Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut said Thursday.
Bank-bashing SEIU officials are also exploiting the story:
“Wall Street banks have already taken so much from us. They’ve taken trillions of our tax dollars. They’ve taken away people’s homes who are struggling to pay the bills,” union official John VanDeventer wrote on the Web site of the 2 million-member Service Employees International Union. “But they should not be allowed to take away our health and well-being.”
Dodd and the SEIU’s demagoguery aside, I do think Americans are right to raise questions about swine-flu favoritism. Culture of Corruption spotlights the cozy connections between Wall Street money men and the Obama administration. Both Citigroup and Goldman Sachs (or rather, Government Sachs) have benefited mightily from high-powered largesse. And Team Obama squandered any last benefit of the doubt about its penchant for cronyism long ago.
A FOIA request into the vaccine distribution decisions is in order.