Fact-check: Has New York delayed COVID-19 treatment for white people? – Austin American-Statesman – DC Initiative on Racial Equity
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Jill Terreri Ramos, PolitiFact.com  |  Austin American-Statesman

Donald Trump: “In New York state, if you’re white, you have to go to the back of the line to get medical help.”

PolitiFact’s ruling: Pants on Fire

Here’s why: At an Arizona rally, former President Donald J. Trump stirred up the crowd with inaccurate claims about how white people are being put at a disadvantage when seeking health care during the pandemic. 

“The left is now rationing life-saving therapeutics based on race, discriminating against and denigrating, just denegrating white people to determine who lives and who dies. If you’re white, you don’t get the vaccine, or if you’re white you don’t get therapeutics,” he said. “In fact, in New York State, if you’re white, you have to go to the back of the line to get medical help. Think of it. If you’re white you go right to the back of the line.” 

New York State’s guidance for distribution of Covid-19 treatments has been a hot topic in conservative media and also the subject of lawsuits by a Cornell University law professor and a pro-Trump advocacy group.  

So, what is Trump talking about? Do whites have to “go to the back of the line to get medical help” in New York State? 

State memo

The context for Trump’s remarks is a state Department of Health memo from Dec. 27, sent to health care providers and facilities about treatments meant to prevent worsening conditions in people already sick with the virus. 

The memo addressed the recent authorization of Covid-19 oral antiviral treatments, such as Paxlovid, as well as a severe shortage of those treatments and monoclonal antibodies. It warned that supplies of oral antivirals “will be extremely limited initially,” and that only one monoclonal antibody product is effective against the omicron variant, the dominant variant in New York. 

The state told health care providers to prioritize the therapies for people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised regardless of their vaccination status, or those 65 and older and not fully vaccinated with at least


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