People were offended after U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said that Black people should stop drinking and smoking marijuana in order to survive COVID-19. During the daily White House coronavirus briefing on Friday (April 10th), he said Black people and people of color are hardest hit by the virus because of "social issues," not genetics or biology.
Dr. Adams also urged people of color to "step it up" and "avoid alcohol, tobacco and drugs" to increase their chances of surviving the coronavirus pandemic.
He added, "Do it for your abuela, do it for your grandaddy, do it for your Big Mama, do it for your pop pop," Adams said.
PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor, who is mixed race, took offense with Adams using slang language such as "big mama", "abuela" and "pop pop" to describe elders. She said, "There are some people online that are already offended by that language and the idea that you're saying behaviors might be leaning 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?"
She added, "I used the language that is used in my family, he said, stressing that his words were ‘not meant to be offensive.’ That's the language that we use and that I use. And we need to continue to target our outreach to those communities.”