New York City’s health officials prioritized COVID test results for communities of color over areas that are predominantly white, according to leaked emails.

One email exchange with DOHMH representatives revealed that City Councilman Joe Borelli’s staff said Staten Island’s South Shore constituents were experiencing difficulties getting their tests at the city’s sites.

Borelli employee Briana Nasti sent the email on December 22, stating that she had received calls about the mobile NYC H+H testing sites, such as Wolfes Pond Park.

The agency responded the same day, the Post reports, and informed Nasti that they  are prioritizing neighborhoods flagged by the city’s Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity – which has identified 31 underserved neighborhoods to receive preferential COVID treatment from the city. 

Although the task force stated that names were selected based on DOHMH analyses of “health status, living circumstances, social inequities and occupation, COVID-19 Wave 1, impact” but did not disclose the method the agency used to weight the various factors, 

According to reports, non-whites are given preference by the state Health Department for monoclonal antibody treatment and Pfizer’s new pill due to nationwide shortages. 

MANHATTAN: People lined up at a COVID-19 testing hub in Penn Station on December 30

MANHATTAN – People lined up in Penn Station’s COVID-19 Testing Hub on December 30,

QUEENS: A woman and her daughter got a COVID-19 test near the Queens Hospital Center

QUEENS A mother and her child took a COVID-19 exam near Queens Hospital Center

MANHATTAN. People had to wait in long lines at Times Square for COVID testing because the city values tests that are specific for minorities.

On Friday, the city saw 33,119 new cases, up more than 550 percent over two weeks as the highly-contagious Omicron variant continues to spread

Friday saw 33.1119 cases in the city, an increase of more that 550% over the past two weeks. The highly contagious Omicron virus continues to spread.

According to city data, blacks and African Americans have had 12,808 residents per 100,000 people test positive for the virus since the pandemic began, Hispanic people have had 15,309 residents per 100,000 people test positive for the virus and white people have had 13,095 residents per 100,000 test positive

Data from cities shows that since the start of the pandemic, 12,808 blacks have been infected with the virus. Hispanics have seen 15,309 positives per 100,000 while whites have witnessed 13,095 positives per 100,000.

Representatives from the Health Department supported the prioritization given to minorities communities, arguing that these have “borne the brunt [of this pandemic] due to structural racism” and that testing was being done through community-based organisations in select neighborhoods.  

According to city data, blacks and African Americans have had 12,808 residents per 100,000 people test positive for the virus since the pandemic began, Hispanics have had 15,309 residents per 100,000 people test positive for the virus and white people have had 13,095 residents per 100,000 test positive.

The city now has 160 sites for coronavirus testing, more than 100 mobile teams, and 60 brick-and mortar locations. 

New Yorkers continue to wait in line hours for COVID testing, even though the case rate is on the rise. There were 33,119 reported cases on Friday. This is an increase of over 550% in the two-week period as Omicron, a highly contagious variant, continues to spread.

Queens Councilman Robert Holden said his district still does not have a testing site

City Councilman Joe Borelli's office had tried to contact the  Department of Health and Mental Hygiene about the lack of testing in his district

Queens Councilman Robert Holden and Staten Island councilman Joe Borelli have both stated that they do not have city-run testing locations as a consequence of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s priority for tests in minority communities.

QUEENS: An aerial view of a long line is seen at a COVID testing center as the highly-contagious Omicron variant spreads

QUEENS: A view from the air of a line at COVID Testing Center. The Omicron variant is highly contagious.

QUEENS: All throughout the city, people are waiting on long lines to get tested

QUEENS: All throughout the city, people are waiting on long lines to get tested

BROOKLYN: People stood in line for their free at-home testing kits in Bensonhurst

BROOKLYN. People lined up for Bensonhurst’s free home testing kit.

BROOKLYN: The surge in cases have left people scrambling for at-home tests

BROOKLYN – People are scrambling to find at-home testing due to the increase in cases

The New York Post reported that Staten Island’s predominantly white and middle-class South Shore didn’t receive any COVID testing due to the prioritization of minorities for the tests. However, it had one of the highest COVID rate in the city at December.

There are 13 testing locations within the borough, all run by the city. However, they’re located on the North Shore which is more diverse than the South Shore. The South Shore saw an average of 2,932.67 cases in the last week. 

Borelli stated that he thinks we’re not listed on the racial or ethnic priority list. He also said: “There wasn’t any problem in pointing fingers at South Shore Staten Island for sending enforcement officers.

This was in reference to the small-business owners who claimed they had been victimized by strict city enforcement of vaccination and mask mandates.

Robert Holden from central Queens said the district does not yet have testing sites. This is despite the fact that the region has received an average 13.35 case per day over the seven-day period.

Holden, who founded the task force said that COVID-19 is not political-motivated. “We urgently need test sites and home kits.

“Bill de Blasio considers middle-class taxpayers in districts that didn’t vote to him as those who don’t merit protection under COVID-19,” he stated. “His administration enters only districts like ours in order to find small businesses and make them cash machines.  

In a shocking memo sent out by the state's Health Department and approved by Gov. Kathy Hochul on Monday, white residents were told not to bother trying to get Pfizer's Paxlovid pill or monoclonal antibody treatments

A shocking note was sent by the state’s Health Department to white residents and approved by Governor. Kathy Hochul told white residents Monday not to attempt to receive Pfizer’s Paxlovid pills or monoclonal anti-treatments.


The news comes just one day after it was revealed that the state Health Department also sent out a shocking memo that basically told white residents not to bother trying to get Pfizer’s Paxlovid pill or monoclonal antibody treatments.

The missive by the state, called ‘COVID-19 oral antiviral treatments authorized and severe shortage of monoclonal antibody treatment products,’ lists the criteria that must be met to receive two oral antiviral remedies, which were touted as being ‘available and potentially lifesaving.

In this week’s notice, however, department officials announced that the state was facing severe shortages in the availability of the two antiviral therapies, and subsequently listed a series of eligibility factors – such as age, weight, and mildness of symptoms – that practitioners are to take into account when administering the treatments. 

At the beginning of the week, the state Health Department released a statement stating that two COVID-19 antiviral treatments had been granted an Emergency Use Authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to fight the wave.  

However, when determining eligibility for the potentially life-saving treatments, both thought to be more effective at quelling Omicron cases, the state made it explicitly clear that non-whites take precedent over others.

The document states that non-white races and Hispanic/Latino ethnicities should be considered risk factors because of longstanding social and systemic inequalities and health problems. 

Pfizer's COVID-19 pill, pictured here being manufactured at a plant in Italy last month, is also in short supply. Per the department's announcement this week, people of certain backgrounds have priority over others when it comes to getting the drug from their medical practitioner

The COVID-19 drug by Pfizer, which was pictured being made in Italy at the end of last month, also is in limited supply. According to the announcement made by the department this week, certain people have priority when seeking the medication from their doctor.

Karol Markowicz, a New York journalist, first reported the policy. He tried to sum up the strange position of the department with the phrase “white people don’t apply” – satirizing the discriminatory messages often displayed in New York City’s windows during the first half century.

Although the analogy drawn by Markowicz (a columnist at The New York Post) is compelling, it’s not completely accurate. 

Caucasians in the Empire State that find themselves stricken with COVID can still be eligible for antibody treatment, including Pfizer’s new drug as well as monoclonal treatments, which are administered in outpatient clinics through an IV/needle, but only if they first demonstrate that they have ‘a medical condition that increase[s]The document warns them about the possibility of severe illnesses. 

Other races, however, will be eligible automatically without the need to present a demonstration. This is due to an increased likelihood of serious illness and death among people from non-white religions as per the state-run agency. 

The reasoning behind the department’s policy, meanwhile, is mired in controversy, as both Pfizer’s pill, meant to be taken within the first few days of having COVID-19 and said to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death by up to 88 percent, and drugs using monoclonal antibody therapy have been thought to be more effective against the now-dominant Omicron variant.