THE BLOG
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Planes, Vaccines, and No EQ

When executives from the Big Three auto makers hopped their individual jets in November 2008 to fly from Detroit to Washington and throw themselves at the feet of Congress to beg for federal financial support, we all marveled at the disconnect. Corporations struggling to make ends meet could not think beyond their corporate rules and norms and do a collective gut check. They never thought to find that emotional quotient, their EQ. The perception of it all... asking us for money while traveling in imperious style. And then they were taken aback with the public outcry. Remember, it wasn't their IQs people were questioning as much as their EQs.

Fast forward to November, 2009. Wall Street bailouts are the norm and fat corporate checks are back. The airplanes never really went away. So while Wall Street perks are percolating, guess what else those money mavericks have that you probably don't? They have allotments of H1N1 vaccine.

Here are some of the numbers:

Citigroup - 1,200 doses

Goldman Sachs - 200 doses

Morgan Stanley - 1,000 doses

Now look at what some of the New York City Hospitals received:

Memorial Sloan Kettering - 200 doses

Lennox Hill - 200 doses

NYU Medical Center - 300 doses

And the local universities:

Columbia University - 200 doses

NYU - 300 doses

The president of the United States has declared the H1N1 pandemic a national emergency. This move is supposed to give the federal government greater authority in coordinating doctors and emergency personnel during pandemics and in times of national security threats. You might also expect that the pronouncement would streamline getting vaccine into your doctor's office and not just into corporate medical clinics.

There are rules and forms of course to get your vaccine. The system is supposed to ensure that those who need it get it first. You remember who they are... pregnant women, young people under the age of 24, people with compromised immune systems and those caring for the very young or the very old. Hmmm. Doesn't sound like a Wall Streeter to me. Wall Street may be ground zero for an economic meltdown, but it is not ground zero for a viral pandemic.

You can put blame in so many places I'm not sure where to start... how the feds assign allotments, the NY Health department that didn't bother to use common sense or the financial institutions who jumped in the life boats while the needy were left on the sinking ship. Who cares about that inconvenient patient up the street when you have your private nurse with a syringe?

And therein lies the EQ gap. The arrogance, sense of entitlement, and self-justification just because you can jump to the front of the line. Issue a press release if you wish telling us how you are saving the world one vaccine at a time because you have donated your supply to a local school or clinic. But for God's sake, put someone other than yourself first for once.