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Wealth & Poverty Review Lab Coat Tyranny

California is using “public health” as a rationale to push progressive political goals. Originally published at City Journal

Public health authorities in California have unveiled a “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” that requires counties to meet new “health equity metrics” in order to emerge from the current Covid-19 lockdowns. It’s a broad experiment in social justice. Under the plan, counties must reduce “disparities in levels of transmission” in “low-income, Black, Latino, [and] Pacific Islander” communities before they can move forward with reopening. In effect, local businesses must remain closed until local bureaucrats are satisfied that ill-defined racial quotas have been met.

The underlying assumption of the blueprint is that race-based coronavirus disparities are the result of “systemic racism,” despite zero evidence that the state’s coronavirus policies have been discriminatory. The plan ignores potential differences in culture, behavior, and underlying health, resting instead on the premise that racism is the driving force behind every disparate outcome. The blueprint also subverts the democratic process. Unelected public health officials are restricting essential freedoms, including mobility, worship, and economic activity, without deliberation by the state legislature or the possibility of review or appeal.

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