PBS’s Yamiche Alcindor mocked for confronting surgeon general over ‘offensive’ remarks appealing to minorit…

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PBS White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor was ridiculed after a bizarre exchange with Surgeon General Jerome Adams over his appeal to minority groups to stay healthy during the coronavirus outbreak.

Recent reports have shown that the virus has disproportionately impacted the black and Latino communities, particularly in urban areas. While Adams acknowledged at Friday’s coronavirus press briefing that the didn’t have the answer to that, he did list physical traits that are prevalent among minority groups that could have a role with the outbreak as well as “multi-generational housing” that can accelerate the spread of the disease.

“I want to close by saying 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 to protect you regardless of your color, your creed, or your geography, I need you to know that you’re not helpless and that it’s even more important in communities of color, we adhere to the task force guidelines to slow the spread,” Adams said. “Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. And call your friends and family. Check on your mother, she wants to hear from you right now.”

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“And speaking of mothers, we need you to do this if not for yourself than for your abuela. Do it for your granddaddy. Do it for your Big Mama. Do it for your Pop-Pop. We need you to understand, especially in communities of colors, we need you to step up and help stop the spread so that we can protect those who are most vulnerable.”

Shortly after, Alcindor confronted Adams over his remarks, which she claimed had already “offended”  individuals online.

“You said that African Americans and Latinos should avoid alcohol, drugs, and tobacco. You also said do it for your abuela, do it for Big Mama and Pop-Pop. There are some people online who are already offended by that language and the idea that you’re saying that behaviors might be leading to these high death rates,” Alcindor told Adams. “Do you, I guess, have a response to people who might be offended by the language that you used?”

Adams responded by telling Alcindor that he had spoken with The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and stressed that they need “targeted outreach to the African American community” and that he was using language that he uses in his “own family.”

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“I have a Puerto Rican brother-in-law. I call my Grand Daddy ‘Grand Daddy.’ I have relatives who call their grandparents ‘Big Mama.’ So that was not meant to be offensive, that is the language that we use and that I use and we need to continue to target our outreach to those communities,” Adams explained. “It is critically important that they understand that it’s not just about them and I was very clear about that. It’s not just about what you do, but you also are not helpless.”

He continued, “We need everyone — black, brown, white, whatever color you are — to follow the president’s guidelines, the coronavirus guidelines and do their part because when I talked to the NAACP three weeks ago, it’s important to note that one of the things that they asked me was will you help dispel the myths in this community that people actually can’t get coronavirus if they’re black. That was a myth that was out there that’s actually very important for us to squash here.”

Alcindor then asked the doctor, “So do you recommend that all Americans avoid tobacco, alcohol, and drug use?”

“Absolutely,” Adams responded. “It’s especially important for people who are at risk with comorbidities. But yes, all Americans. So thank you and I will clarify that. All Americans need to avoid these substances at all times.”

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Friday, April 3, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Friday, April 3, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The PBS journalist was widely mocked over her exchange with the surgeon general.

“Now, the surgeon general is being accused of using insensitive language in real time at the coronavirus briefing,” National Review editor Rich Lowry reacted.

“@Yamiche Alcindor lecturing the Surgeon General of the United States as a member of the P.C. Police is pretty pathetic. And never forget — she works for PBS, so she’s doing this on OUR behalf as taxpayers,” NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck tweeted.

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“Context: As a Latino that’s not obtuse and understands what the Surgeon General is trying to say, ie: giving tips to save lives, I did not find this offensive,” Townhall.com senior writer Julio Rosas said.

“This is the dumbest question I’ve ever heard,” political strategist Caleb Hull declared.

Some even accused her of trying to stir backlash against the task force official in a tweet she made during the briefing.

“This is pure art. In her first tweet as soon as he said it, she insisted ‘some will find this language offensive’ and by the time she wrote her second tweet suddenly ‘many’ had already ‘found this language offensive.’ She discovered those many people awfully quickly,” writer A.G. Hamilton said.

“You posted your tweet just so you could get people pissed off so you could turn around and say that people online were ‘offended,'” The Daily Wire’s Ryan Saavedra similarly wrote.

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