Joni Ernst, who accused doctors of inflating Covid deaths for money, criticised for jumping vaccine queue

Ms Ernst is facing a backlash for getting the vaccine ahead of frontline health workers, senior citizens, and high-risk patients

Stuti Mishra
Wednesday 23 December 2020 06:15
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<p>File image: Ernst received her first jab of Covid-19 as people point out many in the healthcare remain in the queue&nbsp;</p>

File image: Ernst received her first jab of Covid-19 as people point out many in the healthcare remain in the queue 

Joni Ernst, a senator from Iowa who had spread conspiracy theories about doctors inflating coronavirus death numbers, faced a strong backlash online after she posted a photo of herself receiving the Covid-19 jab on Sunday.

The 50-year-old Republican shared the image  that showed her wearing a mask as a doctor injected her with her first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. She wrote: “Today, at the recommendation of the Office of the Attending Physician, I received the first dose of the #Covid19 vaccine.”

In subsequent tweets, she said: “I encourage all Iowans and Americans to do the same when their time comes. Thanks to #OperationWarpSpeed and the tireless work of Americans across the country, we are one step closer to defeating this virus.”

“It's also important that we continue to wear a mask, social distance, and follow CDC guidelines to protect our families, friends, and neighbours,” Ms Ernst wrote.

However, people soon raised concerns over the senator being prioritised over frontline workers and senior citizens. People also mocked her over a comment made earlier this year where she suggested that doctors were exaggerating coronavirus statistics in order to make more money.

Author Kurt Eichenwald wrote: “Why Joni? The doctors are lying about the deaths for money. I know, because you told us so. How many people have you killed with your lies, Joni? As someone who lost family to Covid while your lies help spread it, I seriously, seriously hope you burn in hell for what you've done.”

Another Twitter user Susan B wrote: “If the Virus is a hoax why are all the naysayers like Joni Ernst making sure they get their vaccines ahead of the country? GOP base wake up!”

Author Greg Olear asked: “Does it also immunise you from rank hypocrisy?”

A democrat supporter Jana Lynne Sanchez wrote, mocking Ms Ernst: “oh good. I was really worried that all those maskless, indoor super spreader events might be bad for you.”

Another Twitter user, Stephanie Lanz, said: “You said doctors were making money off this virus. People stopped coming in to see their doctors because of what you said. People threatened health care workers because of what you said. People died because of what you said.”

Academic and Author Marc Lamont Hill wrote: “Your lies and misrepresentations about Covid have contributed to the astronomical, and partially avoidable, death toll in this country. And now you get to jump the vaccine line and stand in front of the same vulnerable people who were compromised by your actions. Disgusting.”

In September this year, Ms Ernst said during a campaign: “These healthcare providers and others are reimbursed at a higher rate if Covid-19 is tied to it, so what do you think they’re doing?” 

The frontline health workers, senior citizens and high-risk patients are the priority group identified for early inoculation of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The attending physicians of the Congress have been strongly advising politicians to take the jabs, but questions have been raised over whether or not politicians should be first in line to get vaccinated.

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