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The Power of Billionaires | COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ

FILE - In this March 16, 2020, file photo, Neal Browning receives a shot at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle, in the first-stage safety study clinical trial of a potential vaccine for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Many world leaders at this week's virtual U.N. summit hope it will be a vaccine made available and affordable to all countries, rich and poor. But with the U.S., China and Russia opting out of a collaborative effort to develop and distribute a vaccine, and some rich nations striking deals with pharmaceutical companies to secure millions of potential doses, the U.N. pleas are plentiful but likely in vain. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Ted S. Warren/AP
This week, the Unified Government Public Health Department has 2,000 COVID-19 vaccines to distribute and they're being prioritized for essential workers in Wyandotte County.

An explanation of how America is built to benefit the wealthy and health administrators offer an update on the COVID-19 vaccine distribution in the Kansas City metro.

Segment 1, beginning at 4:42: How the concentration of wealth has made the corporate elite untouchable.

Over the course of 2020, the 614 billionaires in America grew their net wealth by $913 billion. As they get richer, they’re also getting more powerful. Today, the corporate elite have accumulated enough wealth and power to be untouchable by the law, not unlike the feudal lords of medieval times.

Segment 2, beginning at 30:29: Answers to your questions about the COVID-19 vaccine distribution in the Kansas City metro.

Like most of its area counterparts, the Unified Government Public Health Department is struggling to navigate the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. Until we all have been inoculated, the dean of the UMKC School of Medicine says now is "not the time for us to let down our guard." As a new coronavirus strain gains traction in the U.S., it's important to continue following guidelines to prevent spreading the disease.

When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
Chris Young is an Assistant Producer for KCUR’s Up To Date. Contact him at chrisy@kcur.org.
Whether it’s something happening right now or something that happened 100 years ago, some stories don’t fit in the short few minutes of a newscast. As a podcast producer at KCUR, I help investigate questions and local curiosities in a way that brings listeners along for adventures with plot twists and thought-provoking ideas. Sometimes there isn’t an easy answer in the end – but my hope is that we all leave with a greater understanding of the city we live in. Reach me at mackenzie@kcur.org.