Gov. Pete Ricketts on Wednesday fired back at criticism directed at him by New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for his COVID-19 vaccination policy in Nebraska, declaring that "your citizenship is not checked before you receive vaccine" in this state.
The flare-up followed earlier statements by the governor that led to some confusion about his administration's policy in providing vaccinations for undocumented immigrants, including specifically those working in meat processing plants in the state.
Ricketts said he "expect(s) vaccines for all Nebraskans."
Ocasio-Cortez on Tuesday night had tweeted: "Imagine being so racist that you go out of your way to ensure that the people who prepare *your* food are unvaccinated."
The congresswoman, most widely known as AOC, referred to a tweet by The Recount, an online news organization based in New York, stating that Ricketts had said undocumented workers at meatpacking plants would not be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Ricketts had said, and continued to say on Wednesday, that undocumented immigrants are not allowed to work at meat processing plants and the status of workers is checked by their employers, so that is not even an issue at the state's meatpacking facilities.
Immigrant communities and supporters in the state say the fact is that undocumented immigrants do work at those plants.
Ricketts brought up AOC's tweet at his COVID-19 news briefing, suggesting that "she does not care about Nebraska" and that his vaccination plan had been misrepresented by "fake news."
AOC responded on Twitter shortly after the governor's briefing with a tweet.
"Given that I want EVERY Nebraskans to have vaccine access, including *every* meatpacker and not just *some*, I think I care about more Nebraskans than even Ricketts does."
At his briefing, Ricketts said "AOC wants open borders," socialism and a Green New Deal that would destroy the cattle industry.
This is a developing story. Stay with JournalStar.com for updates.
How vaccines get made and approved in the US
Reach the writer at 402-473-7248 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter @LJSdon