Sen. Warnock Emphasizes Controversial 1619 Project in Commencement Speech

Sen. Warnock Emphasizes Controversial 1619 Project in Commencement Speech Raphael Warnock speaks on capitol hill Sen. Raphael Warnock on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on April 20, 2021. (Bill Clark/AFP via Getty Images)

By Brian Freeman | Wednesday, 19 May 2021 05:10 PM

College graduates must do their part to get the U.S. out of “COVID-1619,” Sen. Raphael Warnock said in a recent commencement speech at Atlanta’s Morehouse College reviewed by the Daily Caller.

The Georgia Democrat said in the speech that systemic racism is built into the healthcare system in the United States and compared COVID-19 to the 1619 Project, which has been criticized by experts for repeated historical inaccuracies.

The 1619 Project claims that the country’s “true founding” was the year the first slave ship arrived on America’s shores and makes slavery the main focus of the country's history.

Warnock tied the two issues together in his address by saying, “May this be the class that’s going to set new standards for how we deliver care to people and reach people who have been traditionally marginalized and forgotten about in our healthcare system making sure everyone has great access to health care no matter what they look like, where they live, or how much money they have.”

Warnock urged that “May this be the class that is going to keep fighting to reverse and dismantle the disparities in our healthcare system born out of deeply rooted systemic racism. Go forth. Don’t just how to make our way out of COVID-19, teach us how to make our way out of COVID-1619.”

Last month Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and fellow GOP colleagues sent a letter asking the Education Department to stop the Biden administration program that cites the 1619 Project in a public-service announcement on The Federal Register, according to Politico Playbook.

"Americans do not need or want their tax dollars diverted from promoting the principles that unite our nation toward promoting radical ideologies meant to divide us, the letter said. “Americans never decided our children should be taught that our country is inherently evil."

NC Policy Watch reported on Wednesday that the University of North Carolina's board of trustees decided not to approve tenure for Hannah-Jones, the founder of the 1619 Project, and she is instead under consideration for a fixed five-year contract as a professor of practice.

In another recent commencement speech, White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci also said the coronavirus pandemic exposed “the undeniable effects of racism” in the U.S., according to the Daily Caller.

“Many members of minority groups have a much greater risk of COVID-19 often because of the nature of the jobs that many of them have as essential workers,” Fauci said. “When people of color get infected with SARS-CoV-2, they more likely will develop a severe consequence of the infection, and this is because minorities in general have a greater incidence and prevalence of underlying comorbid medical conditions, including hypertension, chronic lung disease, diabetes and obesity that lead to a multifold increase in hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19, compared with the general population.”

He emphasized that “very few of these comorbidities have racial determinants. Almost all relate to the social determinants of health.”