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New York’s Racial ‘Risk Factor’ for COVID Treatment is Illegal and Immoral

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Joel Zinberg
Director at Public Health and American Well-Being Initiative

Joel M. Zinberg, M.D., J.D. is the Director of the Public Health and American Well-Being Initiative at Paragon Health Institute, and a senior fellow with the Competitive Enterprise Institute. A native New Yorker, he recently completed two years as General Counsel and Senior Economist at the Council of Economic Advisers in the Executive Office of the President.

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New York City’s and state’s departments of health have reached a divisive and destructive low. In new guidelines rationing scarce, lifesaving oral antiviral medications and the one monoclonal antibody preparation that is effective against the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, they instruct providers to “consider race and ethnicity” and give preference to those who are “Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.” These directives are immoral, illegal and bear no relation to the science…

The problem with the state’s guidance is the instruction that “nonwhite race or 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.” Hence, all other risk factors such as age, immune, and vaccination status being equal, “nonwhite” and “Hispanic/Latino” patients will be granted superior treatment access compared with whites…

Minority populations…suffer from more of the underlying medical conditions that are associated with severe ­COVID-19 illness. These include: obesity, diabetes with complications and chronic kidney disease. The risk increases with more conditions.

While it is possible that “longstanding systemic health and social inequities” could lead to an increased incidence of these conditions in minority communities, race and minority status do not, on their own, lead to more severe COVID-19 disease…

This sort of discriminatory, politically correct decision-making should not be tolerated. New York health-department bureaucrats should revise these guidelines immediately or risk having them struck down in court.

Read the full article in the New York Post.

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