Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik today led her colleagues in sending a letter to Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Kristen M. Clarke calling for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to hold New York State Governor Kathy Hochul accountable for rationing limited COVID-19 treatments to New York State residents on the basis of race.
“By limiting lifesaving COVID-19 treatments on the basis of race, Kathy Hochul is further dividing New Yorkers with dangerous policies," Stefanik said. "It is shameful New York State is prioritizing Far-Left politics over the health and safety of all New Yorkers, and it is shameful Biden’s partisan Department of Justice has not stepped in to address this clear violation of our Constitution.”
On December 27, 2021, the New York State Department of Health issued a notice of the criteria for individuals to receive oral antiviral treatment, which stipulated that “non-white race or Hispanic/Latino ethnicity should be considered a risk factor” due to systemic health and social inequities which have “contributed to an increased risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19.”
In the letter, the lawmakers pointed out that this violates Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.
“You and your division have remained silent even as New York State discriminates on the basis of race in rationing scarce lifesaving COVID-19 treatments. This policy is not only wrong and unlawful, but it may cost lives by denying critical treatment options to those who need them most,” the lawmakers wrote in part.
Stefanik was joined by Reps. Lee Zeldin (NY-01), Andrew Garbarino (NY-02), Claudia Tenney (NY-22), Tom Reed (NY-23), and Chris Jacobs (NY-27).
Read the full letter here.