First, it was Mike Pence.
When the vice-president rolled up his sleeves and was vaccinated with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on live TV, most people’s initial reaction — besides how the hell hadn’t Pence already caught the virus while working in the White House, one of the nation’s known hot spots — was that while Pence didn’t exactly fit the category of an essential worker or senior citizen, at least he was demonstrating the safety of the vaccine for those people more skeptical of the hastily developed drug.
After seeing other senior Republican leaders such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) get their shots, however, public sentiment turned more towards outrage — outrage that members of a party that has happily allowed Donald Trump to mismanage our nation’s pandemic response and has fought tooth and nail against Democratic efforts to provide meaningful pandemic financial relief to America’s most desperate citizens — all while trying to exempt their corporate benefactors from liability for their failures to properly protect their workers — were allowed early access to the vaccine.
While Senator McConnell and other congressional leaders of both parties who have managed to get vaccinated ahead of the nation’s first responders at least fit into the Medicare-eligible high-risk category of the elderly, the 49-year-old Senator Rubio, a healthy specimen who would normally have to wait his turn with the rest of the nation until his risk group was eligible, inspired particular rage.
Many angry citizens took to Twitter to express their disgust and revulsion towards the hypocritical Republican.
Something wrong when Marco Rubio — who downplayed COVID and mocked people wearing masks — is among first to get the vaccine.
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) December 20, 2020
Marco Rubio getting the vaccine before my ICU doctor husband and his 102 year old, nursing home dwelling grandmother gets one really chaps my ass.
Fuck you, Republican hypocrite fuckers. https://t.co/l5ETwPfJVd
— Holly Figueroa O'Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) December 20, 2020
.@marcorubio, what would you call someone who politicized COVID and then took someone's opportunity for vaccine, causing someone who did everything right and needed the vaccine to get COVID and possibly die. I think "fucker" would be appropriate.
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) December 20, 2020
Marco Rubio should work three straight shifts in a hospital intensive care ward and then get back to me about what America needs right now
— Jeff Tiedrich (@itsJeffTiedrich) December 20, 2020
Marco Rubio will NEVER be President
— Fernand R. Amandi (@AmandiOnAir) December 20, 2020
People are tired of Bible-quoting hypocrites like Marco Rubio who attend super-spreader events, don't wear a mask, mock those who do, but STILL get to the front of the vaccine line.
Fuck you, Marco. https://t.co/tawKWhOgak
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) December 20, 2020
Marco Rubio spoke at several Trump Superspreaders last month. Yesterday he cut to front of line to get vaccine pic.twitter.com/ONLwNvDCGp
— Daniel Uhlfelder (@DWUhlfelderLaw) December 20, 2020
Marco Rubio is 49 years old, healthy, and has access to FREE 24/7 care from the attending physician as a member of the Senate.
He was also vaccinated yesterday and has opinions on how the plebs should go about their non-immune lives. https://t.co/T0MwKVKAGV
— Angry Staffer (@Angry_Staffer) December 20, 2020
Marco Rubio tweeted he got the vaccine AND he knows he needs a tan.
What he needs is grey matter.
— Renee Libby 🇺🇸 (@ReneeAlida) December 20, 2020
Marco Rubio wasn’t the only GOP senator taken to task for his line-jumping to get the vaccine that is still in short supply.
Senator Lindsey Graham, who also rushed to get his shot, was equally savaged by an indignant public.
In October, Lindsey Graham refused a COVID-19 test before debate with Jaime Harrison even though he was exposed to virus. Today, he cut to front of line to get vaccine. pic.twitter.com/N3NnDOc66P
— Daniel Uhlfelder (@DWUhlfelderLaw) December 19, 2020
When Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio get the vaccine before thousands of healthcare workers after downplaying the virus and refusing to support a stimulus bill, you get the feeling they don’t really give a sh*t about anyone but themselves.
— Nicholas Ponticello (@NickPonticello) December 20, 2020
I’m a nurse and Lindsey Graham got a vaccine before me.
— Pebs 2.0 ♍️ (@RubyWaves_) December 20, 2020
Lindsey Graham should be at the back of the line for the COVID vaccine. He's as useless as tits on a bull. pic.twitter.com/ia81rC8156
— 𝗟𝗲𝗴𝗮𝗹 𝗪𝗲𝗲𝗱 𝟰 𝗦𝗖 (@LegalWeed4SC) December 20, 2020
Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio and Mike Pence have gotten the vaccine.
This is Dr. Claudia William—She works in urgent care and sees “a high volume of COVID patients”. She says she has “no idea” yet when she’ll get her vaccination.
She’s not the only one. It’s a national disgrace! pic.twitter.com/kGRFh1bP7F
— Nicholas Ponticello (@NickPonticello) December 20, 2020
My dog should have received the vaccine before that pu$$y, Lindsey Graham.
— Mark Schweitzer (@MarkSchweitzer) December 20, 2020
Lindsey Graham & Marco Rubio, who backed Trump's claim Covid-19 threat was overstated – who refused to wear masks & spread virus – these two getting vaccinated before seniors, nurses, frontline workers are as despicable as men shoving aside women & children to get into lifeboats
— Charles Campisi (@1813Doncarlo) December 20, 2020
I'm furoous that politicians who go maskless to patries and call COVID a hoax get vaccinated before our frontline healthcare workers, before seniors and before essential workers! Marco Rubio of FL and Lindsey Graham of SC should've waited! #Fuckers pic.twitter.com/Jwnp9PX0ZL
— Thoughts From The Fly On The Wall (@CindySchoolmas1) December 20, 2020
While the public revulsion towards these two particularly hypocritical Republican politicians is overwhelming and expected, the behavior of the senators is not the least bit surprising given their long history of saying or doing whatever they need to do to support Donald Trump at every juncture.
While Marco Rubio at least has to face the Florida voters and convince them that he is worthy of re-election in two years, Lindsey Graham was just improbably re-elected to another 6-year term in office, so the only way to get rid of him would likely be as a result of a criminal conviction or natural causes.
Now with the COVID antibodies in his bloodstream, thanks to the premature vaccine delivery, Graham can avoid one natural cause to which his pandemic denialism may have previously left him vulnerable.
Perhaps the good people of South Carolina can initiate a recall.
Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.