Why is New York City hiding the details surrounding its racially discriminatory COVID policies? That’s the question the Government Justice Center is asking in a new lawsuit. For the sake of patients’ equal access to potentially life-saving care, New York City needs to come clean.
At issue is the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s 2021 Health Advisory on COVID, which stated that a patient’s race should factor into their eligibility to receive antiviral treatment. (New York state has a similar policy.) That’s blatantly discriminatory on its face, yet when the Government Justice Center submitted a freedom of information law request, the city stonewalled.
Instead of sending the requested documents, a bureaucrat directed the department to “send the standard acknowledgement” and put the request “on the sensitive list.” Clearly, the city knew its discriminatory policy was problematic, and after a few months of delays, it denied the request altogether. After an administrative appeal, the city was given until August 31 to disclose the documents, but it missed that deadline, too.
It’s been eight-plus months since the Government Justice Center filed its freedom of information request. Now the center is suing the city to force it comply with the law and provide clarity to citizens. It’s bad enough that New York City is hiding the details about its discriminatory COVID policies. It’s even worse that it refuses to tell the people why it decided to discriminate in the first place.
Get up to speed with the threats facing healthcare – and how we’re protecting patients and physicians.
"*" indicates required fields