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Vaccinate the elderly; others can wait | READER COMMENTARY

Anika Turkiewicz, a medical resident at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, is vaccinated against COVUD-19 on Dec. 16, 2020. As tens of millions of Americans await their turn for a shot, many are hungering for details about what to expect. (Hannah Yoon/The New York Times)
Anika Turkiewicz, a medical resident at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, is vaccinated against COVUD-19 on Dec. 16, 2020. As tens of millions of Americans await their turn for a shot, many are hungering for details about what to expect. (Hannah Yoon/The New York Times)

I can’t help but reflect on our broken morals as we reach 2021. The so-called president fails to lead and protect us from Russian hacks, disease, evictions and starvation. Our news media, meanwhile, doesn’t challenge the selfish travelers who say, “I’m young so I’ll be OK even if I get COVID-19.” But what about the staff that will treat you and clean you and feed you? What about the the innocents who get your infection and can’t fight it off?

News outlets focus too much on the tragic exceptions — those who died way too young. By doing so, they are ignoring the 85% who are dying daily — those 60 and up. That is a moral failure. People with diseases of aging are being allowed to die because they are afraid of the hospitals.

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And if we really want to be fair and cut the death rate and hospitalizations, vaccinate those who are most at risk immediately following the medical and support staff. A 30-year-old cop or teacher or firefighter in good health should come after their own grandparents. And if you are a maskless fool or entitled politician, then go to the end of the line.

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Frank Fletcher, Baltimore

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