Massachusetts Democratic Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley said members of "marginalised" communities, such as prison inmates, should be among the first to receive coronavirus vaccine shot, Fox News reported Monday. Pressley is commonly grouped with three other Democrat women in the US House of Representatives who have been dubbed "The Squad".
"I'm going to continue to fight for our most vulnerable - communities who have been disproportionately impacted by the virus, for our health care workers, for our essential workers, for incarcerated men and women to be prioritised in the distribution of the vaccine," Fox News quotes Pressley as saying in an interview with CNN.
"The Squad" member also posted an op-ed advocating the inmates prioritization during vaccination campaign.
COVID-19 is rampant in our prisons, jails, and detention centers.— Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (@RepPressley) December 11, 2020
Incarcerated individuals must be prioritized once a vaccine is available.https://t.co/T1wqYTcAgc
Earlier this month, Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser said she will prioritise prisoners in receiving the vaccine in addition to other population groups, the idea prompted a rebuke from Colorado Governor Jared Polis.
"There’s no way that prisoners are going to get it before members of a vulnerable population," he said. "There’s no way it’s going to go to prisoners before it goes to people who haven’t committed any crime. That’s obvious. So those are just false."
Outbreaks of the novel coronavirus outbreaks have been occurring in prisons all over the country, partly caused by prisoners or prison security transfers between facilities. According to a report, citing a survey conducted by The Marshall Project and The Associated Press, more than a dozen state prison systems said they had reduced the number of prisoners they moved during the pandemic.
"The Squad" is a group of four Democratic congresswomen: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib, all of them under 50 years old, from a diverse array ethnic backgrounds, who share progressive views and are thought to represent a "younger generation" in politics.