Two white men sued city health departments Tuesday in Brooklyn federal court claiming eligibility requirements for COVID-19 treatments are anti-white.
Jonathan Roberts, 61, and Charles Vavruska, 55, are suing based on New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene guidelines that instruct healthcare providers to “consider race and ethnicity when assessing an individual’s risk.”
The guidelines include this instruction in a list of factors to consider when evaluating eligibility for monoclonal antibodies and oral antivirals like Paxlovid and molnupiravir, which are in short supply.
The guidelines elaborate that “Impacts of longstanding systemic health and social inequities put Black, Indigenous and People of Color at increased risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes and death.”
The suit claims that considering race or ethnicity as a medical risk factor has “no basis in science.”
Medical consensus agrees that Black Americans are getting more severe coronavirus symptoms and dying at a higher rate than white Americans.
A study cited by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found about 90% of those hospitalized with COVID-19 had an underlying condition.
An article published in John Hopkins Medicine by endocrinologist Dr. Sherita Hill Golden says people of color are more likely to have chronic health conditions like diabetes, heart disease and lung disease.
According to Golden, those underlying conditions may have gone untreated due to inconsistent access to healthcare. Black Americans are more likely to be uninsured or underinsured compared to white Americans.