Cornell Law prof discusses his lawsuit against NY prioritizing COVID-19 drugs based on race
Campus Reform spoke with Legal Insurrection founder William Jacobson about his lawsuit.
Jacobson argues that the state policy is rooted in Critical Race Theory ideological framework.
Campus Reform recently spoke with Cornell Law Professor William A. Jacobson about his lawsuit challenging New York State's recent decision to prioritize lifesaving COVID-19 drugs for "Non-white race or Hispanic/Latino" individuals.
"In times of limited supplies of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and oral antivirals (OAVs), providers should prioritize patients eligible for treatment based on their level of risk for progressing to severe COVID-19," the New York State Department of Health's policy reads.
The policy subsequently states, "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."
Jacobson, who also founded the news website Legal Insurrection, said that such a policy is the "inevitable outcome" of "Critical Race Theory and its variants, like so-called 'antiracism'" which "argue that current discrimination is justified to remedy past discrimination."
"We are seeing in the medical field and in public health authorities the inevitable outcome of CRT, discrimination on the basis of race. Only a warped and woke view would argue that discriminating on the basis of race is not racist," Jacobson added.
"The answer to racism never is more racism," he continued, noting that "it's shocking that [New York State] implemented and is defending these racial classifications.
Jacobson noted that if the roles were reversed, and lifesaving drugs were prioritized for non-Black or non-Hispanic individuals, "There would be a national outcry, round-the-clock media coverage, protests in the streets, and we would have a national conversation."
Speaking on the support he has received, or lack thereof, Professor Jacobson noted,
There has been no reaction to Jacobson's lawsuit from his colleagues, according to the professor.
"I hope my colleagues and others on campus would support me as I am upholding the highest ideals of Cornell University, which says it is against discrimination on the basis of race and ethnicity," he stated.
Campus Reform also spoke with Cullen O'Hara, a junior at the university who supports the professor's legal action.
"I absolutely believe that Professor Jacobson is doing the right thing," O'Hara said. "Racial discrimination is reprehensible and immoral, and Professor Jacobson is standing up for equality."
"The remedy to past unfairness should not be to make present-day institutions and processes unfair. That is a spiral into madness," he added.
Professor Jacobson has since filed motions for preliminary injunction and class certification with the hopes that the policy will be suspended until the outcome of the trial.
Erin Silk, a spokesperson for the New York Department of Health, told Campus Reform, "While we cannot comment on pending litigation, in the guidance, NYSDOH is advising health care providers to consider a number of health-based risk factors for individuals when providing this treatment."
"These are neither qualifications, nor requirements for treatments. Qualifying risk factors include a long list of medical conditions, as well as age and vaccination status," Silk added.
Campus Reform reached out to Cornell University and the New York State Department of Health for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.
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