We’ve already written about how vaccination trends across the U.S. have given off more than a whiff of Eau De Colonization, but this story coming out of Chicago—as many stories coming out of Chicago unfortunately do—takes the cake.
Block Club Chicago recently broke open a story that brings to bear many of the seediest issues perpetuating inequity in the notoriously segregated city and the country it belongs to: greed, cronyism, hoarding and the Trump family.
Loretto Hospital, a community care institution based in Chicago’s West Side Austin neighborhood, on Friday had its vaccination supply revoked by Mayor Lori Lightfoot following a Block Club Chicago report that the hospital has been administering doses meant for residents of the majority-Black, low-income Austin neighborhood to people in some of the city’s wealthiest enclaves.
Those who jumped the line and received vaccinations meant for already disinvested communities of color disproportionately hard hit by the coronavirus include Eric Trump.
Because, of course, a Trump is involved.
If you’re familiar with downtown Chicago, you’ll know there’s an eyesore of Trump Tower looming over the city’s river. Dr. Anosh Ahmed, the chief operating officer of Loretto Hospital, who also coincidentally lives in the luxury tower, unwittingly revealed his own misdeeds by sending bragging texts earlier this month saying that he had “vaccinated Eric Trump”—complete with a picture of him and the former president’s vampire-resembling eldest son to back up his boast.
From there, it came out that Loretto had hosted an entire vaccination event for workers at the Trump Tower Hotel and residences downtown. A reminder: the vaccine doses allocated to Loretto by the city were specifically to be administered to the mostly-Black people who live in Austin and continue to be vaccinated way below the numbers of people in the city’s richest zip-codes, like those Downtown. Chicago’s vaccination rules limit doses to residents of 15 underserved communities of color, people over 65 and frontline workers and other specialized groups—not including hotel employees.
When taken to task, Ahmed nonsensically claimed that he was only “joking” about having vaccinated Trump. But that wasn’t enough to stop city officials from pulling the plug on Loretto’s vaccine supply, especially since it turns out that Ahmed wasn’t the only head honcho at the hospital diverting the doses to people outside of the designated neighborhood they were meant for.
Loretto’s CEO—who is a Black man named George Miller—went so far as send 200 vaccine doses to his Valley Kingdom Ministries International church way out in the Oak Forest suburbs, nearly 20 miles from the West Side neighborhood they were meant for.
“In the coming weeks, our goal is to obtain more COVID-19 vaccines to administer because the demand is extremely high. We are attracting new patients that have never visited [Loretto] before,” Miller wrote in a newsletter to his hospital staff following the vaccination of the congregation he belongs to.
Miller was lauded for putting his fellow church members ahead of those in need in Austin with an award from the church’s lead pastor on Feb. 28, reports Block Club Chicago.
It seems like everyone was getting a shot of the vaccines, except the many residents in Austin who still remain unvaccinated.
Ahmed, the Loretto CFO and Trump fanboy mentioned earlier, also hooked up the employees of a luxury watch and jewelry store in Chicago’s Gold Coast with vaccine doses, Block Club Chicago reported Monday.
A witness from that event says the beneficiaries of the vaccines were “white and privileged,” and added, “I just knew in my gut that I wasn’t eligible.”
She still got her vaccine dose though, complete with a filled-out vaccine card.
Loretto is denying that they vaccinated anyone at the luxury store called Geneva Seal, and the board of the hospital has issued a statement saying, “all reported events stemmed from a sincere desire to vaccinate as many eligible Chicagoans as possible—especially people of color—as quickly as possible.”
Since when is Eric Trump a person of color, or eligible under Chicago rules? Is there no shame and contrition? I guess that would be too much like decent.
The city is now carrying out an investigation into the many “reported events.”