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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

AP FACT CHECK: Trump seeds spark hostility with lies about COVID

Written by CALVIN WOODWARD and DAVID KLEPPER

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump falsely claimed at a weekend rally that public health authorities were denying white people the COVID-19 vaccine because of their race.

The former president sowed racial slurs in comments that misrepresented public health policy and exaggerated the impact of racially conscious antiviral treatment recommendations in New York.

From his Saturday night talk in Florence, Arizona:

Trump: “Now the Left is rationing life-saving therapies based on race, discriminating and humiliating…white people to determine who lives and who dies. If you are white, you do not receive the vaccine, and if you are white, you do not receive therapies. … In New York State, if you are white, you have to go to the back of the line to get medical care.”

FACTS: No, white people are not excluded from vaccinations, which are in abundance. And there is no evidence that they are being sent “background” to treat COVID-19 under public health policy.

Trump has misrepresented New York City policy that says race is a consideration in dispensing limited-stock oral antivirals. The policy is trying to target these therapies to the people most at risk of severe illness from the coronavirus.

It says non-white or Hispanic ethnicity “should be considered a risk factor” because long-standing health and social inequalities increase the likelihood that people of color will become seriously ill or die from the virus.

Trump has extrapolated this to falsely claim that white people are forced to stay “at the end of the line” for medical care and denied access to both vaccines and therapy.

Michael Lanza, a spokesman for the New York City Department of Health, told the New York Post that race is not being used to deny treatment.

Late last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans are about twice as likely to die from COVID-19 than non-Hispanic whites and are significantly more likely to be hospitalized. An earlier Associated Press analysis of the first waves of the pandemic found that COVID-19 had taken a disproportionate toll on blacks and Hispanics.

A CDC study in October found that people from certain ethnic and racial minorities were dying from COVID-19 at a younger age, and the agency’s report Friday said minorities were less likely to receive outpatient antiviral treatment than whites.

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Klepper reported from Providence, Rhode Island. Associated Press writer Jill Colvin of Washington contributed to this report.

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EDITOR’S NOTE. Look at the veracity of the statements of politicians.

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AP fact checks can be found at http://apnews.com/APFactCheck.

Follow @APFactCheck on Twitter: https://twitter.com/APFactCheck

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