The Make-A-Wish Foundation is disputing what it calls a "misinformation
" campaign concerning whether children
who have not been immunized against COVID-19
will be eligible to have their wishes granted.
These children are still eligible, according to the foundation.
An edited video of Make-A-Wish Foundation CEO
Richard Davis that went viral on social media
over the weekend caused a stir by appearing to suggest that only vaccinated children would be eligible to have wishes granted. Stars such as actor Rob Schneider
and numerous donors declared that they would no longer support the foundation if it decided not to grant wishes to unvaccinated children.
The confusion arose because the viral video
clip cuts off before Davis finished explaining which children would be eligible in the two-minute, 22-second video. The outbreak of COVID-19 caused Make-A-Wish to postpone granting some wishes — for all children, vaccinated or not — that might put them at risk.
The video, which was emailed on June 9, was intended to inform Make-A-Wish families and foundation volunteers that certain types of wishes, such as those involving air travel
or large crowds, would resume being granted again in September and that planning to fulfill them could begin; however, certain wishes for unvaccinated children that are currently deemed risky will remain on hold until further notice.
“We respect everyone’s freedom of choice,” Davis says in the full video, adding that some children may be too young or too sick to be vaccinated. “We can’t wait until Sept. 15, when we can expand the types of life-changing wishes we can grant.”
To address the "misinformation and falsehoods on social media and in some media outlets," the foundation issued a more straightforward statement:
“Make-A-Wish has not, does not, and will not deny wishes to non-vaccinated children... Make-A-Wish will continue to grant wishes to non-vaccinated children.”
The foundation stated that it expected some backlash for its decision to postpone granting wishes for some Make-A-Wish children, but that it made the decision because it was “focused on listening to medical experts and doing what was right and in the best interest of the health
and safety of all our wish families.”
Since the outbreak, the foundation has granted over 6,500 wishes to children and their families, regardless of vaccination
The foundation also stated that it will continue to work
with Make-A-Wish children to reimagine their wishes, emphasizing that any child suffering from a critical illness is eligible for a wish.
A child's vaccination status will also not be considered "in time-sensitive situations involving an end-of-life diagnosis," where a special procedure will be used to grant the child's wish.
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