Hollywood doctors claim they’re being offered as much as $10,000 or more by entertainment industry executives to get priority for the vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, Variety reported Monday.
“We’ve been offered bribes,” Beverly Hills-based Dr. Robert Huizenga told the magazine. “We see people taking planes to every location. We’ve seen people try to transiently get into the healthcare profession or on staff at nursing homes, so they qualify for an early vaccine.”
Huizenga, who was an expert on the show “The Biggest Loser,” said entertainment professionals were among the most eager to obtain early inoculations “in a “fight for their lives. You can’t really blame them for pulling out all the stops. The state and the government have set up a system that is really horrendous.”
California’s distribution has been heavily criticized with Gov. Gavin Newsom being blamed for changing age requirements and a variety of systems being used across the country’s most populous state, Oakland Fox network affiliate KTVU reported.
“It’s ‘The Hunger Games’ out there,” a top entertainment executive, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Variety, referring to the 2012 science fiction film where children are selected to participate in a televised fight to the death.
Healthcare workers, older citizens, teachers and “essential workers” are prioritized in California’s protocols.
High-profile entertainers such as actor Harrison Ford, former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, producer Frank Marshall, all in their 70s, all have received their vaccinations, some announcing them on Twitter.
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