Oliver Colaprete, a Physician Assistant in Rochester, NY, is in hot water after calling COVID-19 the China virus in a Facebook comment.
It all went down after a Facebook user posted an image of actress Alyssa Milano along with a statement, "A mask will protect you more than an AR-15 will. On Tuesday, the actress came under fire for tweeting, "Anti-maskers are the same people who think they need an AR-15 for protection", then went on to say, "LOUDER FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE BACK: A MASK WILL PROTECT YOU *MORE* THAN AN AR-15 WILL.
Colaprete, who appears to be a Trump supporter, calls Milano an idiot then suggests masks are not as useful as other healthcare officials are claiming. The physician stated, "I've heard countless stories of people wearing masks and social distancing and obeying all the rules and STILL getting the China virus." When another Facebook user confronted him about his racist language, Colaprete responded, "...Definitely wouldn't want to offend the communist regime that released this virus upon the world or its stateside sympathizers, ie you." Oliver Colprete's comments aren't only unethical his comments are disturbing, terrifying, and racist when you understand how this virus impacts communities of color. Studies show that minorities are more likely to die from COVID-19 than their White counterparts. USA Today reported that Asian Americans in San Francisco are dying at an alarming rate from COVID-19: Racism is to blame. In October of 2020, USA Today reports, 38% of the 123 COVID deaths reported by the San Francisco Department of Public Health are Asian American residents. Studies also show that calling COVID-19 the China virus causes discrimination. According to NBC News anti-Asian bias rose after media, officials used the China virus. In the article, it states research, published in the journal Health Education & Behavior, examined racially charged coronavirus coverage in media and its impact on bias against Asian Americans. Anti-Asian bias had been in steady decline for over a decade, the trend reversed in days after a significant uptick in discriminatory coronavirus speech. The New York Times also reported Chinese-Americans are in fear of their safety after various attacks across the country. In the article, Yuanyuan Zhu describes the moment an attacker spits in her face. The growing stories of Asian Americans attacked in our country are alarming.
Who is Oliver Colaprete? According to NYSED.Gov, Oliver Colaprete is a Physician Assistant in the Rochester, NY area and received his license in October of 2020. A Google search states he is located at 272 East Main Street, Apartment 911 Rochester, NY 14604. Unfortunately, the website does not provide any additional information. He is married to Rachel Ann Colaprete, whose maiden name appears to be Vitelli. Colaprete racist comments are serious and should warrant an immediate investigation. If physicians in our community refer to a virus as the China virus, should we assume they are racists and aren't giving patients of color the same attention or care as their White patients? Could physicians like Colaprete be the reason people of color are dying at a higher rate? Dr. Susan Moore, a Black doctor, complained about discrimination just days before her untimely death. Has anyone investigated those complaints, if not, why? There are too many questions left unanswered for people like this to remain licensed.