On Monday, Feb.22, 2021, the Livingston County Board of Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution calling on the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to retract its SVI Social Factor Based Plan. As a county resident, I am disappointed and embarrassed by the board’s self-serving attitude.
I support the state’s position that vaccines need to be distributed using the SVI Social Factor Based Plan to areas where the risk and the need is the greatest. While I would love to get the vaccine sooner rather than later, (I am 75 years old), I feel strongly that my fellow citizens in other counties, many of whom are essential workers who don’t have the ability to work from home, need the vaccine more than I do. Over and over, statistics continue to show us that African American and Latino citizens are dying at significantly higher rates than those of us who are white. (https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2020/06/16/race-gaps-in-covid-19-deaths-are-even- bigger-than-they-appear/)
Our county, which is overwhelming white, should be a role model for other economically privileged areas of the state and take a stand that shows our recognition of the needs of our fellow citizens and our gratitude and support of these workers who put their lives on the line every day. Livingston County is a good community and we have the chance to demonstrate that good citizenship and compassion are hallmarks of who we are. We should be supporting the State’s SVI Social Factor Based Plan rather than demanding that the state retract it.