Surgeon General Adams Must Apologize for Advancing Racist Tropes During Coronavirus Crisis

Washinton, DC – Today, the Surgeon General of the United States, Dr. Jerome Adams, issued a bizarre and offensive statement in regards to the health and safety of communities of color during the novel coronavirus pandemic. Directing people of color to “avoid alcohol, tobacco and drugs” and adding, “We need you to step up,” the Surgeon General managed to demean and sideline communities that have disproportionately been at the frontlines of fighting the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Not all Americans are being asked to sacrifice equally. It is literally our Latinx and Black communities who are stepping up under gross inequality and who are paying the ultimate sacrifice. Our communities are keeping America going in this time of crisis. Frankly, we couldn’t step it up anymore in the face of death itself,” said Voto Latino Founding President and CEO, María Teresa Kumar. “The Surgeon General would better serve the nation by providing accurate medical information than to perpetuate racist tropes that divide our country in a time during which we need unity most. Dr. Adams continues to propagate lies that endanger every single American. His remarks continue to put people’s lives at risk.”

Voto Latino urges the Surgeon General to reflect and apologize for these comments, ones that not only do not reflect reality but also harm public health and safety efforts across the country.

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Voto Latino is a grassroots political organization focused on educating and empowering a new generation of Latinx voters, as well as creating a more robust and inclusive democracy. Through innovative digital campaigns, culturally relevant programs and authentic voices, we shepherd the Latinx community towards the full realization of its political power.

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