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D.C. mayor shrugs off concern about unvaccinated Black students

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Yudi Sherman

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Yudi Sherman

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Tue, Aug 16, 2022

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00:41 AM

Bowser denied statistic produced by own administration on Black children

D.C. mayor shrugs off concern about unvaccinated Black students

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser Monday dodged a question about her school vaccine mandate which will take effect this fall, appearing unconcerned about the considerable impact the mandate will have on Black children. 

Per the mandate, every child over 12 must be injected with the COVID-19 shots in order to attend school for the 2022-2023 academic year. While about 85% of students aged 12-15 have already been injected, that only includes 60% of Black students in the same age range, America’s Frontline News reported earlier this month.  

“We have reporting that around 40% of Black students in the district are unvaccinated,” The Daily Signal’s Doug Blair began asking Bowser at a Monday press conference, citing a statistic from the city's website. “And therefore, under the district’s current policy regarding schools, will be unable to attend school come this school semester starting. 

“So why is the district continuing with this policy when it seems to disproportionately impact black students?” he asked. 

Bowser is a racial hardliner, recommending in 2020 that statues of Andrew Jackson, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington and other memorials be removed due to racism. 

But in response to Blair, Bowser denied the number produced by her own administration and moved on to discuss the general child population. 

“I don’t think that number is correct,” Bowser responded. “We have substantially fewer number of kids that we have to engage with vaccination. And I explained why it’s important. It’s important for the public health of our students and that we can maintain safe environments.” 

report published in December by the Council Office of Racial Equity (CORE) found that Black students would be disproportionately impacted by D.C.’s vaccine mandate.  

“Given the available vaccination rates by race, ward, and age group, it is likely that Black residents would be disproportionately impacted by a vaccine mandate,” said the report, which found that Black children in the nation’s capital ages 12-15 are fully vaccinated at less than half the rate of Asian or Pacific Islander residents.  

“There is little evidence or indication that a mandate would result in parents getting their children vaccinated before the start of the next academic school year begins,” the report added.  

“Concerningly, any education disruption to Black students would have short term and long term consequences. The CDC has consistently warned about disruptions to student learning. In the District, Black students disproportionately experienced learning loss, missed days of school, lacked access to virtual learning, and fell further behind in school during the public health emergency.”  

While little attention has been given to the racism behind vaccine mandates, civil liberties group America’s Frontline Doctors last year brought a lawsuit against then-New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for the inherent discrimination in his “Key to NYC” forced vaccination campaign.  

As reported by America’s Frontline News, De Blasio’s Emergency Executive Order (EEO) #225, otherwise known as the “Key to NYC” campaign, began enforcing a COVID-19 vaccination mandate on August 17, 2021. De Blasio persisted in expanding the mandate until, by the time he left office on December 31, 2021, even children 5-11 years old were barred from entering certain venues without proof of vaccination.  

The City of New York’s own study from May 2021, which was used to justify these draconian orders, showed at the time that Blacks are disproportionately affected by these mandates. According to the study, 56% of Blacks harbored concerns that they did not have enough information about the vaccine, as opposed to 32% of Whites. In addition, 35% of Blacks were “very concerned about missing work due to vaccine side effects”, as opposed to just 19% of Whites.  

Even now, New York City’s website shows that Black residents are the least-vaccinated demographic.  

These data suggest that the demographic most likely to be adversely impacted by the vaccination mandates and barred from basic venues would be Blacks. While Bill de Blasio was aware of these numbers, he nevertheless forged ahead with EEO #225 at great detriment to the Black population.  

De Blasio’s and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s own party supports the claim that these forced vaccinations are inherently racist. The Democratic Party has long held the belief that voter ID laws are racist, claiming that they disproportionately impact Black Americans and present obstacles to their ability to vote. EEO #225 and D.C.’s school vaccine mandate, having a similar exclusionary impact on Blacks, is by nature racially biased. 

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