Wealthy Californians are offering $25,000 donations to hospitals so they can cut the line for a COVID-19 vaccine
- Exclusive doctors in California reveal they have received hundreds of calls from their clientele attempting to skip the queue for a Covid vaccine
- One client even offered a $25,000 donation to a hospital to get ahead
- Doctors have all been forced to say ‘no’ as state officials say they will be ‘very aggressive’ in making sure the rich don’t cut the line
- Yet many expensive clinics are already buying up the ultra-low temperature freezers that are needed to store the Pfizer vaccines
- The state broke yet another record for new daily cases – 53,326 – on Friday
California’s death tolls on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday – 295, 394, 288 and 265 – were also the four deadliest days the state has seen
Wealthy Californians are hoping to skip the line and get early access to a coronavirus vaccine by offering to make significant donations to hospitals and charities.
Exclusive doctors’ practices have revealed they are receiving hundreds of calls from their clients who hope their status and wealth will win them a place at the top of the list.
According to physician Jeff Toll, one of his clients even offered to make a five-figure donation to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, one of the first hospitals in the state to receive vaccines where he also has admittance privileges.
‘If I donate $25,000 to Cedars, would that help me get in line?’ the client allegedly asked.
Wealthy Californians are hoping toget early access to a coronavirus vaccine by offering to make donations to hospitals. Pictured, a emergency medicine worker receives a vaccine
It comes as the state broke yet another record for new daily cases – 53,326 – on Friday
‘We get hundreds of calls every single day,’ Ehsan Ali, who runs Beverly Hills Concierge Doctor, told The Los Angeles Times.
He charges between $2,000 and $10,000 a year for personalized care and counts Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber among his clients.
‘This is the first time where I have not been able to get something for my patients, he added.
Yet the doctors have all been forced to say ‘no’ despite the pestering, as the state keeps tight restrictions on who receives the first batches of its vaccine.
California is first offering the vaccine to health-care workers and nursing home residents, then essential workers and those with chronic health conditions, before it will be offered more generally to the public.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has stated that health officials will be ‘very aggressive in making sure that those with means, those with influence, are not crowding out those that are most deserving of the vaccines’.
‘To those that think they can get ahead of the line, and those that think because they have resources, or they have relationships that will allow them to do it. We will be monitoring that very, very, closely,’ Newsom added.
‘We will prioritize, and we will expect that everyone in the health care delivery system is held to the same ethical standard of prioritizing truly, those that are most in need. And the real heroes in this pandemic are front line health care workers, and those are the folks that we must protect, and we must prioritize moving forward.’
Yet despite the insistence from health officials that these criteria will be upheld across the board, it hasn’t stopped the rich from trying.
The requests have been specifically high in southern California, which is currently the epicenter of the state’s outbreak.
‘They wanted it yesterday,’ said Dr. David Nazarian, of My Concierge MD in Beverly Hills. ‘We will play by the rules but are doing everything we can to secure and distribute the vaccine when its available to us.’
Dr. Abe Malkin, founder of Concierge MD LA, has also received plenty of calls offering to make donations in return for vaccine dose.
‘I’d say that 5 to 10 percent of those were willing to try to make some contribution to a charity to get themselves bumped up in line,’ according to Malkin.
Many clients have placed themselves on waiting lists with the expensive clinics in order to get a dose of the vaccine as fast as possible.
Gov. Gavin Newsom, pictured, has stated that health officials will be ‘very aggressive in making sure that those with means, those with influence, are not crowding out those that are most deserving of the vaccines’ as wealthy Californians make attempts to jump the line
These boutique practices are also snapping up the expensive, ultra-low temperature freezers that are needed to store the Pfizer vaccines, as they register to administer the vaccine so they can get them to wealthy clientele as soon as they can.
Currently only the US government can distribute the vaccines as Pfizer and Moderna have not yet made them available to purchase by doctors or private citizens.
The actions of the wealthy in California is following a global trend where most of the world’s vaccine doses have been acquired by the richest countries.
Wealthy countries representing just 14 percent of the world’s population have used their resources and influence to capture 96 percent of Pfizer’s vaccine and 100 percent of Moderna’s, according to a report by Oxfam and other human rights organizations.
However, Alison Bateman-House, an assistant professor of medical ethics at NYU claimed the West Coast elite may not all be seeking an early vaccine for selfish reasons.
‘Every system has a weak link somewhere, and I’m sure someone is going to find it and someone’s going to exploit it,’ Bateman-House said. ‘The question is: Where’s that weak link going to be, and how quickly will it be identified and stopped?’
California’s death tolls on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday – 295, 394, 288 and 265 – were the four deadliest days the state has seen, as pictured above
California this week received its first 327,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, administering the first shots to front line health care workers battling the virus.
‘I think one of the difficult things is for physicians who take care of these high-power people to be able to say, no you have to wait,’ Toll admitted. ‘These people don’t usually have to wait.’
California broke another record for daily coronavirus cases on Friday with 53,326, reported in a single day.
The state has now averaged more than 40,000 new coronavirus cases a day over the last week which is ten times the figures from the end of October.
It comes as deaths in the state are also reaching record highs.
In the past week, California recorded seven percent of its total fatalities since the start of the pandemic, loosing more than 1,500 residents to the virus.
Its death tolls on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday – 295, 394, 288 and 265 – were the four deadliest days the state has seen.
Hospitalizations have ow also broken a record for 20 days in a row, having reached 16,019 by Thursday, including 3,447 people in intensive care units.
Nationwide there have been more than 17.4million cases and 313,669 deaths.