There was a furious backlash over comments by Kamala Harris suggesting that hurricane aid would be prioritized based on race.
“It is our lowest income communities and our communities of color that are most impacted by these extreme conditions,” she said during the Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership Forum.
“We have to address this in a way that is about giving resources based on equity, understanding that we fight for equality, but we also need to fight for equity,” she added.
The eugenics strategy of public health had been baked in long before the pandemic with the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index. SVI was supposed to help rush aid during a natural disaster to those who might need it the most, but SVI added race as a “vulnerability” to create affirmative action disaster relief. During a hurricane, your odds of getting help increased if you were in a minority area. And it decreased if you ranked higher on the SVI because you had more income.
The research materials included a paper co-authored by Ezekiel Emanuel, an Obamacare architect and a prominent proponent of triage, who had already co-authored another paper, which had warned that while directly prioritizing race “would likely be ruled unconstitutional”, the better approach would be “considering vulnerabilities that, while possible for people of all races, are commonly produced by racism”.
Finally, Emanuel noted that, “disparities could be further reduced by avoiding prioritization strategies, such as age-based preference, that risk widening racial and socioeconomic disparities.”
SVI is already part of the National Risk Index. The NRI is used by the entire federal government. It urgently needs to be taken out. And that is only likely to happen if a competent conservative administration actually drills down and rides herd on the federal bureaucracy instead of being taken for a ride by them. It’s one of thousands of things that need to be done and I’m not optimistic about that happening.
The fact that you don’t hear anyone talking about SVI, but they’ll spend weeks ranting about Ukraine and Russia is part of the problem.
The conservative movement is losing the ability to focus on the things that matter. And Americans are paying the price.