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Legal Group Sues New York For Prioritizing COVID Treatment Based On Skin Color

New York City
Image Credit5chw4r7z/ Flickr

America First Legal (AFL), a conservative nonprofit, sued the New York State Department of Health on Sunday over the agency’s racist guidelines for rationing COVID care.

The state’s prioritization scheme, released in December, singles out skin color as an element in a person’s qualification for treatment when resources are scarce.

“Non-white race of Hispanic/Latino ethnicity should be considered a risk factor, as longstanding systemic health and social inequities have contributed to an increased risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19,” the guidance reads.

AFL launched its lawsuit after the group also threatened legal action against public health agencies with similar guidelines in Minnesota and Utah.

“New York’s racist COVID decrees dispense life-saving medicine based on the race or ethnic background of the patient. New York is deciding questions of life and death based on a New Yorker’s ancestry,” said AFL President and former Trump adviser Stephen Miller. “This is outrageously illegal, unconstitutional, immoral, and tyrannical. And that is why we are suing the state.”

The group first threatened to sue New York health officials over the racist policies on Jan. 3, demanding the agency revise its guidance. After two weeks of inaction, AFL filed the suit.

Speaking in Phoenix on Sunday night, former President Donald Trump condemned the racist guidelines as a product of left-wing animus toward white Americans.

“The left is now rationing life-saving therapeutics based on race, discriminating against and denigrating … white people to determine who lives and who dies,” Trump said. “If you’re white, you don’t get the vaccine, or if you’re white, you don’t get therapeutics. … In New York state, if you’re white, you have to go to the back of the line to get medical health.”

Despite the former president merely reading from the official guidance distributed by the New York public health agency, where white people are marked with lower priority for medical care, the Associated Press published a “fact-check” of the comments on Monday to declare them false.

“There is no evidence [white people are] being sent to the ‘back of the line’ for COVID-19 care as a matter of public health policy,” the AP ruled.