SANDRA SMITH (CO-ANCHOR): To the backlash now over Colorado's decision to prioritize prisoners for receiving the COVID vaccine first. The state's phased distribution plan puts inmates ahead of senior citizens because of their tight living quarters, which means convicted murderers will get immunized before grandmothers. Joining us now, Dan Henninger, Wall Street Journal editorial page deputy editor and Fox News contributor. What's the reaction to this, Dan? Good morning.
DAN HENNINGER (WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITOR): Hi there, Sandra. Well, I think the reaction to what they're doing in Colorado would be that it's quite nuts. You know, it's ironic to me that liberals and the left such as in Colorado have been citing the authority of science to justify these lockdowns, and then when science, real science produces deliverance in the form of a vaccine, they revert back to politics to decide who will get the vaccine. We had Dr. Moncef Slaoui was interviewed by Bret Baier last evening and he made it clear that by December, or the end of December, we might have 40 million doses. And since it’s a double dose, vaccine that means 20 million people may have it available by the end of the year. Obviously choices have to be made and I assume the CDC is going to make those decisions on the basis of essential workers, health care workers, and indeed the most vulnerable. But if the states decide on their own to start making these distribution decisions on the basis of politics, then distribution of this vaccine is going to degrade into an awful free for all across the country.
HENNINGER: Certainly they should have more methods to keep people from getting infected inside the prisons. But, Sandra, one could as easily make or even more easily, more persuasively make an argument the vaccine should be distributed first to essential workers and then perhaps to school teachers, especially school teachers in the middle school and high schools or even colleges. We know that grade school-age students aren't strong transmitters of the disease, but we do want to get the schools back open, and they won't be opened again until teachers at the high school level and mid school level feel confident that they won't get infected. There will be some difficult choices here, but again, I'm suggesting that if state governors start making decisions on the basis of politics that prisoners should be prioritized ahead of teachers or the elderly, you're going to see the day we've all been looking for, the distribution of this vaccine to degrade into the worst kind of partisan politics. That would be a real tragedy.