PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor, a White House correspondent, had a moment during Friday’s coronavirus task force press briefing in which she called out Surgeon General Jerome Adams for the language he used during his time at the podium. He was there to address the unusually high percentage of deaths in the African-American population from the coronavirus.
Dr. Adams delivered his remarks in such a way that anyone tuning in would understand. Remember, just last week he was sending out a warning that this week would likely be a “Pearl Harbor moment”. He uses language that everyone can relate to, not just those familiar with the medical terms of the pandemic. He encouraged people to call and “check in on your mother” while he reassured that public servants and local state and health departments are working non-stop to stop the spread of the coronavirus and protect everyone “regardless of your color, creed or geography”. Then he made the mistake, at least in the eyes of the PBS reporter, of giving a little straight talk.
[W]e are actively working as the Vice President and the CDC Director laid out today, data collection, targeted to reaching communities of color, and increasing financial, employment, housing and social supports so everybody has an equal chance to be healthy. And I want close by saying that 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 protect you regardless of your color, creed or geography, I need you to know you are not helpless, and it’s even more important that in communities of color, we adhere to the task force guidelines to slow the spread. Stay at home if possible. If you must go out, maintain six feet of distance between you and everyone else and wear a mask if you are going to be within six feet of others. Wash your hands more often than you ever dreamed possible.
Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and drugs and call your friends and family, check in 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, then for your abuela, do it for your grand-daddy, do it for your big momma, do it for your pop-pop. We need you to understand, especially in communities of color, to stop the spread and protect those who are most vulnerable. This epidemic is a tragedy but it will be all the more tragic if we fail to recognize and address disproportionate pact of covid-19 and other array of diseases and risk factors on communities of color. The task force and the administration are determined to not let that happen. The President, the Vice President has said we will not let that happen. We can’t fix these issues overnight, but I promise you we will work with your communities to quickly and meaningfully move the needle in the right direction. Nothing less than the fate of our families and friends, my family and friends, depends on it.
Yamiche Alexander was offended about two parts of Dr. Adams’ remarks – why did he tell African-Americans to avoid alcohol, tobacco, and drugs instead of including everyone and why did he use nicknames like “big momma” and “pop-pop”? She even pointed to social media and alleged that some people online were offended by his language.
Dr. Adams thanked her for the opportunity to say that his advice about alcohol consumption, smoking and using drugs is consistent with his advice as a medical professional through-out his time as Surgeon General. He advises all people to moderate their behavior, not just African-Americans. Then she went full-on word police on him and addressed the nicknames he used. She essentially called him a racist.
You said that African-Americans and Latinos should avoid alcohol, drugs, and tobacco. You also said do it for abuela, do it for big mama and pop-pop. There are some people already — there are some people online that are already offended by that language and the idea that you’re saying behaviors might be leading to these high death rates. Could you talk about whether or not people — could you — I guess, have a response for people who might be offended by the language that you used?
Not only did Dr. Adams handle the race-baiting and phony outrage of the PBS reporter, but he also presented receipts. He specifically referenced talks he has given to the NAACP. The language he used is the same he uses with his own family.
“I’ve been meeting with the NAACP, with the National Medical Association, with others. I actually talked with Derek Johnson multiple times this week, the head of the NAACP, and we need targeted outreach to the African-American community and I use the language that is used in my family,” Adams explained.”I have a Puerto Rican brother-in-law. I call my granddaddy, granddaddy. I have relatives who call their grandparents big momma. So that is not meant to be offensive.”
Dr. Fauci stepped up and defended Dr. Adams. “I can’t do it any better than that and I — I know Jerome personally and I can just testify that he made no — not even a hint of being offensive at all with that comment. I don’t think that was inappropriate.”
Make no mistake here. Dr. Adams’ remarks were meant to address African-Americans and tell them that they are not helpless in the fight against the coronavirus. There are measures that everyone, including them, can take to lessen the chance of exposure to the virus. Then, if anyone is infected, behavior prior to that infection will play a role in how that person fares.
This is why so many people are tuning out the national press. This woke African-American woman conjures up a politically correct outraged mob on Twitter in order to accuse the Surgeon General of being an Uncle Tom. He’s a black man working in the bad Orange Man’s administration so he must be canceled. It is crazy. Don’t forget, our taxpayer dollars pay for her to do her job since she works for PBS. After previous dust-ups with President Trump during these coronavirus briefings, she sure looks like she is going down the path of the likes of CNN’s Jim Acosta and seeking her personal 15 minutes of public recognition. Our liberal betters defend her as though they are personally attacked.
White people use the nicknames Dr. Adams used. I used “pop-pop” in a post just this week. I’d also like to ask where Ms. Alcindor’s questioning of President Obama was when he used the reference to “cousin Pookie” as he urged black voters to get out and vote? Journalists thought Obama was super cool when he spoke like that.