Miller, Meadows group sues NY health department over 'racist and unconstitutional' COVID treatments

At issue are which patients get life-saving medical treatments for virus

Updated: January 18, 2022 - 12:43pm

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America First Legal is suing the New York State Department of Health over what it considers an unconstitutional directive that instructs health-care workers to provide life-saving medical treatments for COVID-19 infections based on a patient's race. 

The class action suit was filed by Sunday by the group on behalf of William Jacobson, a Cornell Law School professor, and argues that under state policy health-care providers must give automatic priority to non-whites and Latinos when deciding which COVID patients should receive oral antiviral treatments. 

The defendant in the suit is Mary Bassett, acting commissioner of the state health department. 

Earlier this month the group, in a strongly worded statement, vowed legal action if the state did not immediately rescind its "racist and unconstitutional directive, which instructs medical providers to allocate scarce COVID-19 oral antiviral therapies according to the race of the patient."

Group President Stephen Miller, a top Trump White House adviser, said: "On his first day in office, President Biden issued an executive order declaring ‘equity’ to be the organizing principle of his administration. In other words, using raw government power – or unleashing corporate, educational or other institutional power – to punish people based on skin color or other protected trait. America First Legal sued, and won preliminary relief against President Biden on his two signature equity programs that awarded or blocked federal financial relief based on race – obtaining preliminary injunctions to halt the programs.

"Now, we 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."

Former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows is on the group's board of directors.

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