White people infected with COVID in New York State – the hardest hit state in the country – are in jeopardy of being turned away from potential lifesaving treatments in favor of other more at-risk races because of a national shortage of two promising types of medical treatments.
In a shocking memo sent out by the state’s Health Department and approved by Gov. Kathy Hochul on Monday, white residents were told not to bother trying to get Pfizer‘s Paxlovid pill or monoclonal antibody treatments.
‘Non-white race or Hispanic/Latino ethnicity should be considered a risk factor as longstanding systemic health and social inequities have contributed to an increased risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19,’ the document reads.
The guidance comes as New York State set a one-day record of 76,555 for positive COVID tests, fueled by the Omicron variant, with more than 41,000 of those cases coming from New York City, according to data compiled by the health department.
However, the agency’s website does not detail the races of those infected.
Data from New York City’s official site shows the vaccination rate of white people at 63 percent, compared with 75 percent for Latinos, 58 percent for black residents and an astronomical 97 percent for Asians.
The state’s missive, titled ‘COVID-19 Oral Antiviral Treatments Authorized and Severe Shortage of Oral Antiviral and Monoclonal Antibody Treatment Products,’ sets out a list of eligibility requirements for two oral antiviral treatments that had been touted as ‘available and lifesaving’ by the organization in an October press release.
In this week’s notice, however, department officials announced that the state was facing severe shortages in the availability of the two antiviral therapies, and subsequently listed a series of eligibility factors – such as age, weight, and mildness of symptoms – that practitioners are to take into account when administering the treatments.