America First Legal Sues New York For ‘Racist’ COVID Guidance For Hospitals

(Photo credit should read JOHN GURZINSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Gretchen Clayson Contributor
Font Size:

America First Legal (AFL) is suing the New York State Department of Health over a policy that instructs healthcare workers to prioritize COVID-19 treatments to non-whites and Hispanics.

“New York’s use of a patient’s skin color and ethnicity as a basis for rationing medical treatment is racist and appalling. AFL will not stand by while any government attempts to establish a racial hierarchy in the provision of life-saving medicine, and we will continue to fight on behalf of all Americans who are being denied medical treatment based on immutable characteristics such as skin color,” AFL said in a press release Monday. (RELATED: NY Health Department Requires Healthcare Providers To Discriminate Based On Race When Administering Antiviral Treatment)

AFL previously warned the New York Department of Health that it would face legal action if it did not rescind its policy, which rations out scarce oral antiviral therapies based on race. The drugs are authorized for patients who meet all stated requirements, including patients who “have a medical condition or other factors that increase their risk for severe COVID-19 illness.” The department then stated that “Black, Indigenous, and People of Color” are at “increased risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes and death.” Healthcare providers are to “consider race and ethnicity when assessing an individual’s risk” and prioritize non-white people when administering treatment, according to the guidance.

“New York has recently decided that equity directives will be used to decide who lives and who dies: to determine who receives lifesaving medical care based on the color of one’s skin or the nationality of one’s ancestors. This should appall the consciences of all who claim to care about human rights. It is a Pandora’s box that must be shut at once,” former Trump adviser and AFL President Stephen Miller said in a statement.

AFL claimed a victory in July of 2021 after the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas granted a preliminary injunction against a Biden administration loan-forgiveness program that issued relief to farmers and agricultural workers of color. Totaling $4 billion, the loan relief was passed in March of 2021 as part of President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan.