The state of New York is being sued over its plans to distribute treatment for Covid-19 based on race.

Background: On Dec. 27, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul released a memo telling health care providers that eligibility for anti-viral treatments should weigh race as a risk factor for severe illness. 

“Non-white race or Hispanic/Latino ethnicity should be considered a risk factor, as long-standing systemic health and social inequities have contributed to an increased risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19,” it reads. (per Fox News)

What Happened: America First Legal President Stephen Miller said “[W]e are suing the State of New York for deciding not merely questions of financial survival – but of physical survival – based upon skin color.”

“New York’s racist COVID decrees dispense lifesaving medicine based on the race or ethnic background of the patient. New York is deciding questions of life and death based on a New Yorker’s ancestry. This is outrageously illegal, unconstitutional, immoral and tyrannical. And that is why we are suing the state – because right and justice and morality urgently demand it. No citizen should lose his or her life because the government – of the State of New York, or anywhere, or at any level – punished them because of the color of their skin.”

What Democrats Say: Democrats have praised Hochul for the memo. Previously, the New York Gov. also signed legislation declaring systemic racism a public health crisis, and called for greater equity in public health.

“For far too long, communities of color in New York have been held back by systemic racism and inequitable treatment,” she said.

What The Health Department Says: The New York health department previously defended the measure.

New York State Department of Health spokesperson Erin Silk said, “This guidance is based on CDC guidelines that show COVID mortality rates are higher among certain demographic groups, including senior citizens, immunocompromised individuals and non-White/Hispanic communities. NYSDOH is instructing health care providers to consider an individual’s health-based risk factors when providing this treatment, and has requested additional doses from the federal government because of the limited supply at this time.” (per Fox News)

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