Yamich Alcindor of PBS is under fire after suggesting the Surgeon General Jerome Adams of making comments that are racially insensitive towards minorities.
Adams is one of half a dozen African Americans to serve as the nation’s top doctor.
Reports have shown that COVID-19 has disproportionately black and Latino communities in urban areas.
Surgeon General Adams suggested that young adults should avoid drinking alcohol or smoking tobacco to protect themselves from the virus.
The novel coronavirus is known to impact people with preexisting conditions.
It also disproportionately impacts people with compromised immune systems or lung issues.
If young adults weren’t willing to give up drugs, Adams said they should do it for their “Big Mama” or their “Pop-Pop.”
However, Alcindor confronted Adams and said that his remarks had already “offended” users online.
See the exchange below:
Surgeon General Jerome Adams defended himself by saying that those are words they himself has used.
In an attempt to reach out to African American communities, Adams was simply using language that belongs to his "own family."
Adams also has a Puerto Rican brother-in-law, so his use of language comes from first hand, familial experience.
Fox News confirms Yamich Alcindor's tone-deaf question:
PBS White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor was ridiculed after a bizarre exchange with Surgeon General Jerome Adams over his appeal to minority groups to stay healthy during the coronavirus outbreak.
Recent reports have shown that the virus has disproportionately impacted the black and Latino communities, particularly in urban areas. While Adams acknowledged at Friday's coronavirus press briefing that the didn't have the answer to that, he did list physical traits that are prevalent among minority groups that could have a role with the outbreak as well as "multi-generational housing" that can accelerate the spread of the disease.
"I want to close by saying while your state and local health departments and those of us in public service are working day and night to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and to protect you regardless of your color, your creed, or your geography, I need you to know that you're not helpless and that it's even more important in communities of color, we adhere to the task force guidelines to slow the spread," Adams said. "Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. And call your friends and family. Check on your mother, she wants to hear from you right now."
"And speaking of mothers, we need you to do this if not for yourself than for your abuela. Do it for your granddaddy. Do it for your Big Mama. Do it for your Pop-Pop. We need you to understand, especially in communities of colors, we need you to step up and help stop the spread so that we can protect those who are most vulnerable."
Shortly after, Alcindor confronted Adams over his remarks, which she claimed had already "offended" individuals online.
"You said that African Americans and Latinos should avoid alcohol, drugs, and tobacco. You also said do it for your abuela, do it for Big Mama and Pop-Pop. There are some people online who are already offended by that language and the idea that you're saying that behaviors might be leading to these high death rates," Alcindor told Adams. "Do you, I guess, have a response to people who might be offended by the language that you used?"
Adams responded by telling Alcindor that he had spoken with The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and stressed that they need "targeted outreach to the African American community" and that he was using language that he uses in his "own family."
"I have a Puerto Rican brother-in-law. I call my Grand Daddy 'Grand Daddy.' I have relatives who call their grandparents 'Big Mama.' So that was not meant to be offensive, that is the language that we use and that I use and we need to continue to target our outreach to those communities," Adams explained. "It is critically important that they understand that it's not just about them and I was very clear about that. It's not just about what you do, but you also are not helpless."
He continued, "We need everyone -- black, brown, white, whatever color you are -- to follow the president's guidelines, the coronavirus guidelines and do their part because when I talked to the NAACP three weeks ago, it's important to note that one of the things that they asked me was will you help dispel the myths in this community that people actually can't get coronavirus if they're black. That was a myth that was out there that's actually very important for us to squash here."
We are in the middle of a pandemic.
New York City is suffering its worst week of the crisis so far.
However, members of the media appear to be turning the COVID-19 crisis into another opportunity to insert identity politics.
Rather than asking our officials questions on the progress being made, they seem more keen on accusing members like the Surgeon General, who happens to be black, of making racist comments.
See the reaction on social media below:
What's particularly ironic is that while the media keeps reporting that COVID-19 is impacting minority communities, when the Trump administration attempts to reach out to those same communities, they're accused of racism!
Yamich Alcindor even asked Adams if he recommended "that all Americans avoid tobacco, alcohol, and drug use," implying that he was only making those limitations for black and Latino communities.
"Absolutely," everyone should avoid it, was Adams' response.
The Federalist reports that this isn't Alcindor's first attempt to play identity politics with the Wuhan Virus:
Thursday’s accusation was just Alcindor’s latest attempt to charge White House officials with employing racist terms amid the crisis over the Wuhan coronavirus.
In late March, Alcindor repeated the exhausted claim that identifying the novel Wuhan coronavirus with where it originated as racist, a topic that had already been addressed in the same briefing.
“There are some, at least one White House official who used the term ‘KungFlu’ referring to the fact that this virus started in China. Is that acceptable? Is it wrong?” Alcindor asked without ever naming the person she was referring to.
“No, not at all,” Trump said. “It comes from China.”
It’s worth asking whether Alcindor will also criticize former President Barack Obama for using similar language in 2016.
Meanwhile, Alcindor spared no time to complain about the president being asked in Wednesday’s press briefing about Netflix’s “Tiger King,” which is the number one show on a top streaming platform, and become a cultural sensation as many Americans are consuming more entertainment during the pandemic.
It is worth noting that Dr. Fauci came out and defended Jerome Adams' comments, per The Hill:
After Adams finished speaking, Fauci made a gesture from the sidelines, indicating that he would like to take to make a comment at the podium. President Trump then invited Fauci back on to the small stage in the press room and defended Adams, saying the comment was not offensive.
"Jerome, you did it beautifully. You can't do it any better than that," said Fauci. "I know Jerome personally. I can just testify that he made no — not even a hint of being offensive at all with that comment."
Statistics continue to show that black and Latino communities are disproportionately impacted by the novel coronavirus, with federal and state lawmakers under increased pressure to release the racial breakdown of COVID-19 cases and deaths.
It's interesting that these reporters continue to ask questions that are irrelevant to the topic at hand: the pandemic.
The Trump administration has made bold, decisive actions that have saved lives and protected livelihoods.
Instead of focusing on identity politics, perhaps reporters should actually look at what the administration has accomplished and continues to accomplish.