Gretchen Whitmer: Healthcare Workers Must be Trained on Implicit Bias, Nonwhites Have 'Barriers' to Medical Care

Michigan Office of the Governor via AP, Pool
AP featured image
In this Thursday, May 21, 2020 photo provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speeks during a news conference in Lansing, Mich. Whitmer is relaxing coronavirus restrictions to lift a ban on nonessential medical and dental procedures, reopen retail shops and let residents gather in groups of 10 or less. The small social gatherings can start immediately. Retails stores and auto dealerships can reopen by appointment only starting Tuesday. Medical, dental and veterinary offices can resume nonessential procedures beginning May 29. (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP, Pool)


Are you a medical worker? Do you have implicit bias? If you’re in Michigan, your governor wants you to compute your fluke.

If you haven’t heard, the state’s Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparity recently concluded the black population was hit particularly hard with the virus due to — in part — that very thing within the medical community.

Hence, on Thursday, Gretchen Whitmer issued an Executive Directive.

Here’s she is, folks:

“I am calling on the dddd to establish new rules requiring all health care professionals to receive training on implicit bias and the way it affects delivery of health care services.”

As reported by ClickOnDetroit, black Michiganders accounted for 30% of all coronavirus cases and 40% of COVID deaths — despite comprising only 14% of the state’s population.

Could there be reasons having nothing to do with prejudice?

Gretchen says Yes, but she suspects it’s racism, too:

“To be sure, the causes of these disparities are multiple and complex. Social determinants of health such as education, employment, and environmental factors — all of which correlate with race and ethnicity — are part of the explanation. Research also shows that disparities result in part because of differences in the delivery of medical services to people of different races. The National Healthcare Disparities Report concluded that white patients received care of a higher quality than did Black, Hispanic, Indigenous, and Asian Americans.”


She believes people who aren’t white have “barriers” to medical care:

“People of color face more barriers to accessing health care than do white people, and are generally less satisfied with their interactions with health care providers.”

Implicit bias may be the phantom menace, but she’s determined to stop it:

“These disparities can arise even when not intended because of the prevalence of what is sometimes called implicit bias: thoughts and feelings that, by definition, often exist outside of conscious awareness, and therefore are difficult to control. But they can shape behavior, including the behavior of health care professionals. One way to reduce disparities in health outcomes, therefore, is to seek to eliminate the unconscious biases, misconceptions, and stereotypes that can lead to disparities in how health care is provided.”

If someone thinks something but doesn’t realize they think it, how can you ever know they thought it to begin with? More importantly, if somebody isn’t aware of their own thoughts, how is it possible to change them? And if implicit bias exists and you’re the one determining so, how do you know your thoughts are really your own? And we’ve gone cross-eyed…

Back to bias, there’s training available for a fix. And that’s where the state comes in.

From COD:

The practical impact of Executive Directive 2020-7 means [healthcare workers] looking to get a new license or wants to renew their medical license will have to undergo bias training.


As noted by The Daily Wire, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also relays that nonwhites are disproportionately disadvantaged in the war against the virus:

Long-standing systemic health and social inequities have put some members of racial and ethnic minority groups at increased risk of getting COVID-19 or experiencing severe illness, regardless of age. Among some racial and ethnic minority groups, including non-Hispanic black persons, Hispanics and Latinos, and American Indians/Alaska Natives, evidence points to higher rates of hospitalization or death from COVID-19 than among non-Hispanic white persons.

Of course, it’s the state’s responsibility to fix problems within the system. If there are issues of access somewhere, they should be addressed.

As for training capable of changing someone’s subconscious nature, I don’t imagine that existing in any kind of successful capacity. Particularly when provided by the government. But maybe that’s just my implicit bias talking.

In the meantime, Gretchen may want to check her own — some might allege she’s got an implicit bias against haircuts.




See 3 more pieces from me:

Bang(s)! Protestors Take a Shot at Gretchen Whitmer as They Storm the Capitol With ‘Operation Haircut’

Revolt: After Gretchen Whitmer Extended Her Lockdown, One Million Michigan Residents Refused to Stay Home

Adam Carolla Offers Tucker Carlson a Terrific Metaphor for Big Government

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