The COVID-19 pandemic has provoked a great deal of unseemly behavior in many places, but as Adam Searing of the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute’s Center for Children and Families pointed out in a weekend tweet, a national senior living chain may have just taken the cake.
Recently, in an apparent effort to recruit new residents when many people are understandably hesitant to enter congregate care (seven of the 12 Elmcroft locations in North Carolina are on the state’s most recent list of COVID outbreaks in congregate living settings), the firm bought online advertising in which it implied to prospective customers that they could gain priority for COVID vaccinations by moving into one of its facilities.
Searing saw the ad and copied it from a local news website.
As you can see at left, the ad read:
“This is your shot!…By making the decision to become a part of our community now, you’re also ensuring that you can receive the vaccine before millions of others.”
The company’s come-on is, in a word, revolting.
COVID vaccines (which are free of charge and for which seniors are already a priority) should be distributed exclusively pursuant to transparent public criteria and priorities – not the actions of companies who seek to profit by helping (or implying they can help) their customers to jump the line ahead of others.
Let’s hope the company takes down the ad immediately and that state official investigate if it doesn’t.