Black Twitter users are outraged after U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Black people should stop drinking and doing drugs in order to survive Covid-19.
Adams said Black people and people of color are hardest hit by the virus because of "social issues," not genetics or biology.
On Friday, Dr. Adams defended his use of colloquial language to push his message about social distancing and healthy responsibility to the Black community.
During the daily White House coronavirus briefing, Adams urged people of color to "step it up" and "avoid alcohol, tobacco and drugs" to increase their chances of surviving the coronavirus pandemic.
But PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor, who is mixed race, took issue with Adams using slang language such as "big mama", "abuela" (grandmother in Spanish), and "pop pop" to describe elders.
"Do it for your abuela, do it for your grandaddy, do it for your Big Mama, do it for your pop pop," Adams said.
Alcindor also questioned why Dr. Adams directed his remarks about drugs and alcohol to Black people and not towards other races.
"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," she told Adams. "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?"
"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," Adams replied.
Alcindor, who has been highly critical of President Trump in the past, asked the president why he didn't have a plan to prevent the high coronavirus death rate among the Black community.
After a brief exchange with Alcindor, Trump asked Dr. Adams to step to the podium to answer her question.