Posted on January 24, 2022

Cornell Law Professor Files Lawsuit Calling NY’s COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines “Racial Discrimination”

Rhea Jha, WETM, January 22, 2022

A Cornell Law professor is filing a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of New York State’s guidelines to prioritize “non-white” individuals for the COVID-19 anti-viral pill. In late December, the New York State Department of Health announced the distribution of the new COVID-19 anti-viral pill, but because of a limited supply, distribution guidance called for prioritization to high-risk individuals. Included in the prioritization were those that are non-white.

This week, on behalf of those that are not “non-white,” Cornell Law Professor William A. Jacobson filed a lawsuit in a Southern Tier district court against the New York State Department of Health Commissioner, claiming, “New York’s use of racial preferences in the distribution of COVID-19 treatments is unconstitutional.”

“The fact that based on race, you have made it harder for one race to get it than another is a constitutional violation,” said Professor Jacobson.

The New York State Health Department cites “longstanding systemic health and social inequities,” contributing to an increased risk of severe illness and death for non-whites. {snip}