David Frum: Hospitals should "quietly" treat the unvaccinated last (if at all)

AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File

Atlantic opinion columnist David Frum is sick and tired of this pandemic and all of the disruptions it’s causing for everyone. That’s a position that most sensible people could agree with, I’m sure. He just wants things to get back to normal. But with these new variants cropping up and government mandates still being issued, how do we go about that? Frum offered up what he clearly saw as a “reasonable” list of options this weekend, leading to some rather swift blowback on social media. As The Postmillenial reports, his plans include simply moving on from the current conditions and letting the chips fall where they may. But what about all of the unvaccinated people? Won’t they still be at risk? No problem, at least according to Frum. When they get sick, just have the hospitals deprioritize their treatment during triage and the issue will take care of itself. And if most of them die, what’s really the big loss, right?

The Atlantic’s David Frum issued a tweet in which he claimed that one Covid prevention/punitive measure is to “Let hospitals quietly triage emergency care to serve the unvaccinated last.”

This tweet, which has since been widely circulated and mocked, albeit with horror, by many on the conservative side of the spectrum, contained a list of measures that Frum believes should be enacted. These, he believes, will curb a pandemic that has continued despite drastic restrictions implemented by many countries.

Frum’s missive was intended to show ways that the US could begin to “open up,” and lift some restrictions, but his method is to impose more, and to leave some of the most vulnerable among us without emergency care, as punishment for their not having been vaccinated.

Here’s the tweet, just to keep all of this in context. And he must be standing by his position since it still hasn’t been taken down.

You can infer Frum’s feelings about the vaccine-hesitant without much difficulty. He refers to those people as “the malignant minority.” And he’s not talking about simply making them wait longer for care as a punishment for their failure to comply. He’s obviously talking about leaving them without care no matter what ailment they show up at the hospital to address. And some of those people would obviously die while waiting for the vaccinated (who tend to have far milder symptoms) to be treated.

Plenty of critics also noted Frum’s careful use of the word “quietly.” In other words, this couldn’t be done as a matter of public policy. It would require some clandestine operations on the part of the healthcare industry to ensure that the unvaccinated remained in the waiting room as long as possible. Of course, anyone who has been to an emergency room lately already knows that the waiting times are insane unless you show up in full cardiac arrest. A few COVID patients quietly shuffling off this mortal coil in the back corner probably wouldn’t even be noticed.

When discussing a recent CBS News poll on people’s reactions to Omnicron, I pointed out the government’s success in turning citizens against each other and the willingness of the vaccinated to see the freedoms of the unvaccinated be suppressed. Frum takes this several large steps further, essentially saying that they should simply be left to die. Hey… that’s one way to get vaccination rates up, right? Once you’ve allowed all of the unvaccinated to kick the bucket, only the “good people” will be left.

Here’s another question. Prior to the pandemic, we still had plenty of people dying each winter from the flu. Not all of them went to get an annual flu vaccine. Did you ever once hear someone suggest that the sick should be quizzed about their flu vaccination status and given the boot if they hadn’t gotten the shot? Of course not, but that was back in the days before the government and most of the mainstream media managed to divide the country into two castes based on their vaccination status.

We’re already seeing these trends all over the world. People willing to be vaccinated are eager to get back to some semblance of normal living. But most of them have no issue with their unvaccinated brethren being banned from public spaces and even prevented from keeping their jobs. In that sense, David Frum is only taking the message and pushing it one step further. The unvaccinated are already losing their rights to free movement and the ability to earn a living. Why should they still have a right to remain alive?

Welcome to the post-pandemic world. 2022 isn’t going to get any better, I assure you.