The New Racism at a Danville Vaccination Clinic

by James A. Bacon

Remember that COVID-vaccination clinic in Danville where so few locals were getting shots that people, mostly students, were driving in from out of town to avoid the long waits elsewhere? Concerned about the “equity” implications of all those white people getting vaccinated while blacks and Hispanics were not, the Northam administration restricted access for walk-ins. Only people properly scheduled through the state registration system would be allowed.

So, how’s that working out?

Danville’s state-run vaccination clinic has the capacity to administer up to 3,000 vaccinations per day. According to the Danville Register & Bee in an article published Saturday, it had averaged only 184 daily shots over the four previous days.

Well, that’s one way to ensure “equity” in vaccinations — prevent too many white people from getting them.

Steve Haner highlighted the insanity of this approach back on March 26, and the latest statistics are just icing on the cake. We can calculate that the clinic gave only 736 shots over those four days when it could have given about 12,000. So, for the sake of “equity,” roughly 11,000 people who could have been partially or fully immunized from COVID-19 were not.

As the Richmond Times-Dispatch article cited by Haner told the story, the Danville vaccination center was set up for the express purpose of serving rural black and Hispanic populations in Danville and Pittsylvania County. The region had been targeted by a Virginia Department of Emergency Management equity analysis that identified cities with high COVID-19 rates. Preference was given to locals who scheduled their shots through the state registration process. The mostly white college students flocking in from other cities did not displace anyone. They just weren’t the demographic Team Northam had in mind.

The Danville clinic is not an outlier. Northam’s vaccination czar Danny Avula has said explicitly that the administration has set aside vaccination slots for African-Americans.

Not only were the restrictions racist in motivation, they were pure folly. When you vaccinate someone — of whatever race or ethnicity — you not only protect that individual but you build toward herd immunity. Approaching herd immunity slows the spread of the virus throughout the community, giving a measure of protection to everyone… of whatever race or ethnicity.

If Team Northam wants to rectify “inequities” in dispensing of the vaccine, it needs to do a better job of reaching out to minority communities by addressing the apprehensions that are keeping people away. As it stands now, Team Northam’s idea of “equity” looks like reverse racism: better to have no one getting shots than the “wrong” people getting shots.

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14 responses to “The New Racism at a Danville Vaccination Clinic”

  1. I’m eager to hear someone defend this move. I sincerely want to understand the thinking, as for the life of me, I don’t understand it. Binary approaches here seem misguided at best, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

  2. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
    James Wyatt Whitehead

    285 more days for Mr. Northam to get things wrong over and over and over.

    1. DJRippert Avatar

      Mr W – I fear that we will then segue to Terry McAuliffe getting things wrong over and over and over. If McAuliffe does get elected again smart Virginians will stock up on guns and ammo. His hopelessness in Charlottesville proves he has no capability for maintaining the peace. And to think … I supported him, voted for him and even wrote an article on this blog asking why he shouldn’t be our next governor. Once is more than enough for Mr GreenTech.

      1. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
        James Wyatt Whitehead

        I know exactly how Phil the weatherman must have felt…

      2. CJBova Avatar

        They may not be waiting to see who’s elected. The state procurement site. eVa, has this in their scrolling announcements:

  3. Baconator with extra cheese Avatar
    Baconator with extra cheese

    I think the headline is misleading…. this is “ANTI-RACISM” not racism…
    This is the new US and Virginia, get used to it Wypipo because it’s just the beginning.

    1. Stephen Haner Avatar
      Stephen Haner

      Wypipo? Enlighten me….Never mind, found it. Gee, wonderful. My lesson for the day….

  4. Stephen Haner Avatar
    Stephen Haner

    It has been obvious for a couple of weeks that we are past the stage where “appointments only” made sense and at least some of the sites should be taking walk-ins. The Chickahominy Health District (Hanover) is now doing that. Indeed, it seems to some people: “Better to have no one getting shots than the “wrong” people getting shots.”

    CBS on its Sixty Minutes of Bias show last night went after Florida’s DeSantis, trying to imply that using Publix stores as a major outlet was somehow a political pay off. It has blown up in their faces. Doing that was smart. It was the kind of smart move Northam should have made long ago. There are still too few sites outside of the mass clinics where VDH can seek to control the mix.

    1. energyNOW_Fan Avatar

      How did it blow up in their faces? Is there a backlash since the show aired just last night? I missed the show.

      1. Stephen Haner Avatar
        Stephen Haner

        CBS clearly did some selective and hostile editing of DeSantis’s responses, and the conservative outlets are going to town with the obvious hit job. It becomes clear that Publix was the only statewide chain stepping up, with CVS and Walgreens already tied up with the federal nursing home program. Even some Florida D’s have come to his defense.

        The lesson remains — if you are a public figure you need to do your own recording of interviews. DeSantis is front rank for 2024 so will be a constant target.

        1. Nancy Naive Avatar
          Nancy Naive

          Quid Pro Covid

    2. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      Okay, but doesn’t explain the community in the Keys (Ocean Reef Club — wealthy, did I forget that?) who got the first vaccines.

      “As Florida’s eldest residents struggled to sign up to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, nearly all those aged 65 years and older in a wealthy gated enclave in the Florida Keys had been vaccinated by mid-January, according to an emailed newsletter obtained by the Miami Herald.

      Read more here:

  5. […] That will result in increased transmission of COVID-19 among Virginians of all races, notes James Bacon, the former publisher of Virginia […]

  6. […] That will result in increased transmission of COVID-19 among Virginians of all races, notes James Bacon, the former publisher of Virginia […]

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