WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – Donald Trump falsely announced at a weekend rally that public health officials are denying a COVID-19 vaccine to white people because of their race.
The former president sparked racial outrage in remarks that broke facts on public-health policy and exacerbated the effects of racially aware antiviral treatment guidelines in New York.
From his speech on Saturday night in Florence, Arizona:
Trump: “The Left is now rationing, discriminating, and denigrating life-saving medical science based on race … white people to determine who lives and who dies. If you’re white If you’re white, you don’t get vaccinated or if you’re white you don’t get medical. … In New York State, if you’re white, you have to be the last to get medical health.”
Fact: No, white people are not being excluded from vaccines, which are in plentiful supply. And there is no evidence that they are being referred to “back of the line” for COVID-19 care as a matter of public health policy.
Trump vetoed a New York policy that allows race to be a consideration when distributing oral antiviral treatments, which are in limited supply. The policy seeks to deliver those treatments to those most at risk of serious illness from the coronavirus.
It says non-white race or Hispanic ethnicity “should be considered a risk factor” because prolonged health and social inequalities make people of color more likely to become seriously ill or die from the virus.
Trump asked him to incorrectly insist that white people are being forced “in the back of the line” to access health care and are being turned off from both vaccines and therapeutics.
New York City Department of Health spokesman Michael Lanza told the New York Post that race is not used to deny treatment.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found late last year that blacks, Hispanics and Indigenous people were nearly twice as likely to die from COVID-19 than non-Hispanic whites and were particularly likely to be hospitalized. Chances were high. An earlier Associated Press analysis of the first waves of the pandemic found that COVID-19 was taking a toll on black and Hispanic people.
CDC research in October reported that people in some ethnic and racial minority groups were dying from COVID-19 at a younger age, and a report from the institution said Friday that minorities were more likely to receive outpatient antivirals than whites. The chances of receiving treatment are low.
Klepper reported from Providence, Rhode Island. Associated Press writer Jill Colvin in Washington contributed to this report.
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