by P. J. McNeal, The Chicago Times

CHICAGO – Mayor Lightfoot denied tobacco smokers living in Chicago prioritization in COVID-19 vaccination in defiance of CDC guidelines recently approved by Gov. J. B. Pritzker.  Sources on the “5th Floor” of City Hall deny this decision is punitive towards the nearly 400,000 Chicagoans that choose to smoke.  When asked for comment, a spokesman for the “5th Floor” machine said:

“We respect citizens’ decision to smoke tobacco products, in fact we depend on it as a revenue source for the city.” 

Despite the respect for the right to smoke, under Lightfoot’s orders the Chicago Public Health Commissioner, Dr. Allison Arwady, has barred prioritization of smokers in the city’s next vaccination roll out “Phase 1C” starting March 29.   Their message to Chicago smokers is to seek vaccination providers outside of city limits.  I guess it is the old case of Chicago for some and not for all.

Although, nicotine is an addictive substance, should residents be forced to leave their residency for medical care?  When asked for comment sources stated:

“Mr. McNeal, we are not forcing smokers to leave the city for medical care, just asking smokers to seek other providers outside of the city.”

Typical “5th Floor” double talk.  It should be noted that marijuana smokers are also denied prioritization for COVID-19 vaccinations.