We knew that vaccine line-skipping would be a thing, since the rich, privileged, and connected people have always hoarded healthcare in this country, but this is some next-level shit. Certain young people seem to think that the age and health requirements for vaccination shouldn’t apply to them, and they’re willing to scam their way to a shot, disregarding the still absurd number of high risk individuals who haven’t gotten an appointment yet. Yesterday, two young Florida women posed as elderly to skip the vaccine line. Here’s how their fiasco played out.
The two, still unnamed, women, one 34 and one 44, dressed up in Golden Girls garb — bonnets, gloves, and glasses — and went to a vaccine site in Orange County, Florida, The Washington Post reported. They handed health officials vaccine ID cards and waited patiently to be jabbed. But the staff at the vaccine site weren’t buying it. They noticed the discrepancies between the birthdays listed on the grifter’s driver’s licenses and those on the vaccination cards, according to the Post. The staffers called the sheriff, who didn’t arrest them, but did give them trespass warnings.
The deceptive duo’s guise seems to have worked in the past, because the vaccine cards they were carrying had been issued by the CDC and indicated that they had already received their first doses of the vaccine. We can’t know for sure because these two attempted boondogglers were not arrested, so their names and demographic information aren’t publicly available and they have declined to comment to the media, but this whole charade reeks of white privilege.
I’m not saying that only white people are shady enough to try to skip the vax line, but so far, most of the people who’ve been caught trying to cheat the vaccine system happen to be white. Also, these elder posers didn’t get arrested, which seems like a clear indicator of whiteness since Black people in Central Florida are 2 to 3 times more likely to get arrested than white people.
Florida health officials are using these women’s swindle as evidence that vaccination is #trending. “This is the hottest commodity that is out there right now, so we have to be very careful,” Raul Pino, the director of the health department in Orange County, said in a press conference. When asked whether he thought this kind of hustle had happened before, Pino said that the scam rate is “probably higher than we suspect.”
Florida has already been beset by its fair share vaccine chicanery, and the rollout there has often been described as “lawless,” and a “free-for-all,” so I’m not really sure folks there should be bragging about how it’s flush with the vax and kinda easy to sham. To be fair, Pino and the folks in the health department are in charge of giving the vaccine, not deciding who gets it. Still, Florida, for the good of all, keep a hand on your wallet and your eyes on the ball.