2021-02-09 14:50:44

Disabled Advocates Demand Better Vaccine Access as They Face Greater Risks of Dying from COVID-19

As the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus tops 465,000, Democracy Now! speaks with two disability rights activists about growing calls to prioritize giving COVID vaccines to people with physical and mental disabilities.

Some states, including California, are failing to prioritize vaccines for people with serious physical or developmental disabilities, even though studies show they are up to three times more likely to die from COVID-19. “I use a ventilator to breathe, and I have respiratory failure,” says disabled activist Alice Wong, founder of the Disability Visibility Project and host of the podcast “Disability Visibility.” “If I get the virus, I will not survive."

That is a certainty.” DN also speaks with Rabbi Elliot Kukla, a disability activist who offers spiritual care to those who are ill, dying or bereaved at the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center in San Francisco. “Since the beginning of this pandemic, it’s been clear that disabled lives simply don’t matter as much,” he says.

On the international front, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, Michelle Bachelet, recently appeared on Al Jazeera and spoke out about the pandemic’s impact on the disabled.

Democracy Now! produces a daily, global, independent news hour hosted by award-winning journalists Amy Goodman and Juan González. 

Our reporting includes breaking daily news headlines and in-depth interviews with people on the front lines of the world’s most pressing issues. 

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Alice Wong Amy Goodman california Coronavirus Covid COVID-19 Democracy Now! Disability Visibility Project Free Speech TV Michelle Bachelet United Nations high commissioner for human rights United States Vaccine Vaccines

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