Fox News personality Tucker Carlson claimed White people are being denied COVID-19 treatments because of their race, the latest in his long line of conspiracy theories related to the ongoing pandemic.
Repeating months-old material from the far-right conspiracy-peddling website InfoWars, Carlson falsely claimed White people are being denied treatment as part of an "equity" scheme in response to the mistreatment of "racial minorities in centuries past."
You can hear what Carlson said in the video below.
"The United States has mistreated racial minorities in centuries past, they say, therefore Whites must suffer now. So your ancestors did bad things, or people who looked like your ancestors did bad things, so now, we are withholding medicine from you."
"They call this equity. It's not equity. It is collective punishment. It's the North Korean standard."
"It's the definition of evil."
Carlson went on to cite an InfoWars interview first shared by InfoWars host and Texas resident Harrison Smith, omitting a part of the video showing Smith was told he can't receive monoclonal antibody treatment—which may block the virus that causes COVID-19 from attaching to human cells and reproducing—because of his lack of underlying health conditions.
The latter part of the video shows a nurse telling Smith "research shows that you should be able to fight off COVID" because he is young, healthy and has no underlying medical conditions.
Nowhere did the nurse mention Smith's race but that didn't stop Carlson from claiming otherwise.
"So you can't get lifesaving drugs from the government of Texas if you're the wrong color. Think about that."
A Fox News spokesperson later defended Carlson's remarks in an email to Insider, saying Carlson had simply cited data from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as several state health departments.
"Tucker Carlson's monologue cited official government documents from the FDA and health departments in New York City, Utah, Texas, Minnesota as evidence for the claims that non-black or non-Hispanic COVID patients are facing adverse race-based factors impeding them from receiving COVID therapeutics and other scarce drugs for treatment."
This claim is misleading, however.
The racial disparity in COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations disproportionately affects non-White individuals, according to a study published January 7 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Additionally,The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has noted in the United States racial and ethnic minority status "is inextricably associated with lower socioeconomic status" and this fact accounts for the differences in COVID-19 outcomes.
"Black, Hispanic, and American Indian persons in the US are more likely to live in crowded conditions, in multigenerational households, and have jobs that cannot be performed remotely, such as transit workers, grocery store clerks, nursing aides, construction workers, and household workers."
"These groups are more likely to travel on public transportation due to lack of having their own vehicle."
"Even for persons who can shelter at home, many persons with low incomes live with an essential worker and have a higher likelihood of exposure to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection."
Many have criticized Carlson, who declined to take responsibility for making "the population radical and distrustful and conspiracy minded" with his remarks.
Carlson has repeatedly downplayed the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and shared conspiracy theories on his program, behavior that led Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading expert on infectious diseases to condemn his disinformation as "one of the enemies of public health."