CHICAGO – Staff members at the city’s Trump Tower’s location in Near North received their COVID-19 vaccinations out-of-turn, according to a Block Club Chicago report.
Block Club Chicago sources say staff vaccinations took place on March 10. However, nearly a week later, the city is trying to determine how that came to be. The report comes after Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office announced its “Protect Chicago Plus” program, which targeted communities on the city’s South and West Sides, hardest hit by the pandemic.
Announced in late January, the new initiative would speed up local’s access to the vaccine in 15 city neighborhoods, based on Chicago’s COVID Vulnerability Index.
Trump Towers wasn’t on the list.
It’s why Tower residents were left confused when they heard staff members at the downtown luxury hotel were getting vaccinated. Hotel workers are not eligible for vaccines until Group 1C.
The Loretto Hospital confirms with WGN that they vaccinated 72 Trump Tower employees. According to Block Club Chicago’s report, the hospital’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) lives in the building.
A statement from a hospital spokesperson read, in part, “On March 10 and 11, 2021, The Loretto Hospital infectious disease team vaccinated 72 predominately Black and brown restaurant, housekeeping, and other hotel support personnel at Trump International Chicago. Stemming from requests from West side residents who work at the hotel and were unable to leave their jobs to be vaccinated during regular in-hospital hours, this effort was one of multiple off-site community vaccination initiatives undertaken by The Loretto Hospital in accordance with its mission of ensuring vaccine accessibility to the minority communities hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The hospital adds that doses used were from “Loretto Hospital’s vaccine allotment, not from Protect Chicago Plus allocations, which are reserved specifically for Austin residents.”
WGN reached out to the city for comment. Officials claim that whatever happened, it was not affiliated with “Protect Plus Chicago.”
“The City was not aware of a vaccine event at Trump Tower and we have reached out to them to find out more details. Hotel workers are in phase 1c, which we hope to enter at the end of the month. These phases align with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and are designed to ensure the vaccine gets to the most impacted communities and individuals. In addition, this was not a Protect Chicago Plus event, which are focused on high-need communities according to the CCVI (COVID Community Vulnerability Index). Individuals 18 and over who live in Protect Chicago Plus communities are eligible for the vaccine at PCP events and sites.Full statement from Chicago’s Joint Information Center
Vaccines remain in high demand. As of Tuesday, the city reports only 45.5% of Chicago seniors have received their doses
WGN reached out to the Trump organization for comment. As of this writing, our requests have not been returned.