Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamed of a day when people would be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. That day has not yet dawned in New York, at least when it comes to Covid testing and treatment. On December 27, the New York State Department of Health issued a memo to health care providers and facilities on the authorization and “severe shortage” of oral antiviral and monoclonal antibody treatments for Covid, directing that non-white people be given priority for such treatments. Meanwhile, white people are also being passed over for Covid testing in New York City.
The New York State Health Department’s memo stipulated five conditions for allowing patients access to oral antiviral treatments. One of them was that they “have a medical condition or other factors that increase their risk for severe illness.” The department specified that “non-white race or Hispanic/Latino ethnicity should be considered a risk factor, as longstanding systemic health and social inequalities have contributed to an increased risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19.”
This is not science; it’s race-hate mythology on the order of the Nation of Islam’s febrile nightmare of the demonic Dr. Yakub concocting the white race on the island of Madagascar. There is absolutely no way to determine whether or not black and Hispanic people are at greater risk of getting an airborne viral infection because of past or present racism. What’s more, the department’s assumption can be turned on its head, with white New Yorkers arguing that their being sent to the back of the line for oral antiviral treatments is systemic racism that is endangering their health.
And it’s not just this one Health Department memo. The New York Post reported Saturday that “New York City health officials have been using race to help decide how to allocate precious coronavirus testing resources, leaked emails from the agency show.” Briana Nasti, a staffer for City Councilman Joe Borelli, informed the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene that “our office has been receiving calls regarding the mobile NYC H+H [Hemoglobin and Hematocrit] testing sites such as Wolfes Pond Park. It appears many are waiting with delays, and are being turned away after waiting for hours.” The department responded by saying they were prioritizing “neighborhoods flagged by the city’s Taskforce on Racial Inclusion & Equity. The task force, created by the de Blasio administration in 2020, identified 31 underserved neighborhoods to receive ‘priority’ attention from the city.”
The Taskforce on Racial Inclusion & Equity said priority neighborhoods were chosen based on their “health status, living conditions, social inequities, occupation, and COVID-19 Wave 1 impact,” without explaining how exactly these were assessed. In any case, on this basis, the mostly white, middle-class South Shore of Staten Island was not prioritized. Councilman Borelli was blunt: “I think we are clearly not on their racial and ethnic rubric priority list.” He added that “there was no problem pointing fingers at the South Shore of Staten Island when it came to sending enforcement goons” to make sure that local businesses were complying with rules barring the unvaccinated from entry.
City officials openly admitted that they weren’t distributing resources equally. This was, according to a Health Department spokesperson, because minority communities had “borne the brunt of this pandemic due to structural racism.” The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene claimed that it was “committed to improving health outcomes for all New Yorkers by explicitly advancing racial equity and social justice.” However, racial equity and social justice did not mean equal treatment of all people regardless of race: “Racial equity does not mean simply treating everyone equally, but rather, allocating resources and services in such a way that explicitly addresses barriers imposed by structural racism [i.e. policies and institutional practices that perpetuate racial inequity] and White privilege.”
The irony was thicker than Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. In order to avoid perpetuating racial inequality, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene was discriminating against white people, thereby promoting racial inequality. The anti-racists, in order to end racism, have become as racist as Bull Connor. Only those who have impeccable “Mental Hygiene,” that is, have been thoroughly brainwashed, could possibly believe that by discriminating on the basis of race, discrimination on the basis of race will be ended and a new era of justice will dawn.
Will New York City’s new mayor, Eric Adams, put an end to this madness? Or will New York City, and the entire state, continue on its Orwellian path of racial hatred and division? The smart money, as always, is on the latter.