News and Commentary

NY Department Of Health Prioritizes People Of Color For Oral COVID-19 Therapies

   DailyWire.com
Oral Vaccine
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This week, the New York Department of Health published an announcement to health care providers and health care facilities regarding two COVID-19 oral antiviral therapies: Paxlovid, created by Pfizer, and molnupiravir, from Merck, and apparently discriminated against whites.

The announcement stated that the treatments were authorized for patients who were 12 years and older weighing at least 88 pounds for Paxlovid, or 18 years and older for molnupiravir; patients who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 on a nucleic acid amplification test or antigen test; patients who had mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms, could not be hospitalized due to severe or critical COVID-19, and patients who had a medical condition or other factors that increase their risk for severe illness.

Then the announcement cited “systemic health and social inequities” as it continued, “Non-white 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.”

“In other words, all patients must meet all the eligibility criteria, i.e., be above a certain age, have moderate symptoms, etc. But patients of ‘non-white race or Hispanic/Latino ethnicity’ would not have to meet all the criteria because their race/ethnicity is itself considered a risk factor. People of color and Hispanics would be eligible for antiviral treatment even if they did not meet all the listed medical criteria required of similarly situated white or non-Hispanic patients to obtain the antivirals,” Wesley Smith wrote in National Review.

New York City has also adopted the same policy.

The New York Health Department announcement also claimed, “Supplies of oral antivirals will be extremely limited initially, and there is now only one monoclonal antibody product that is effective for treatment of infection caused by the omicron variant.”

In October 2020, an article by three health experts pointed out that major health organizations seemed to have a racial agenda when it came to allocating vaccines, writing:

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) has recommended prioritization of racial minorities who are “worse off” socioeconomically and epidemiologically. The World Health Organization (WHO) similarly cautioned that “colorblind” allocation frameworks could perpetuate or exacerbate existing injustices. Both NASEM and WHO urge policy makers to allocate vaccines in ways that reduce unjust health disparities. The ethics and legality of race-based policies in the United States have been fraught with controversy.

Obamacare creator Ezekiel Emmanuel joined two other experts to champion the use of prioritizing certain groups in September 2020, declaring, “Prioritizing disadvantaged populations is likewise fundamental. Disadvantage has multiple interrelated dimensions including socioeconomic deprivation and oppression, higher risk of death earlier in life, and medical vulnerability. … equal concern precludes consideration of differences, such as gender, race, or religion, when doing so would not help prevent harm or prioritize disadvantaged groups. Equal concern does not support treating differently situated individuals identically or ignoring relevant differences.”

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