Health officials in New York have banned a doctor from speaking about the state’s new cancer screenings and treatments, citing his “unacceptable bias against white males” and the state “not respecting” its “unique cultural identity.”
Dr. Andrew Schmitz, a clinical professor of radiology and toxicology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has been barred from speaking to patients at the city’s community health center, a move that comes amid nationwide backlash against the new screening guidelines.
The city said SchmitZ’s “unprofessional and insensitive” comments could result in disciplinary action against him, and that it would review all of its policies and procedures for diversity and inclusion.
In the weeks since he was appointed to the position, Schmitze’s office has received complaints from the city and the American Cancer Society, both of which have filed complaints with the state about his remarks.
Schmitz has been under fire in recent months for remarks about racial bias and the prevalence of prostate cancer among whites in the state.
Last month, he told The New York Times that prostate cancer was more common in whites than African-Americans and Hispanics, saying, “The most obvious cause is the presence of men.”
He also told the Times that white men with prostate cancer are “more likely to be diagnosed and treated than their nonwhite counterparts.”
Schmitze, who has defended his remarks as “not a racist comment,” told the New York Post on Wednesday that he would step down from his position at the community health centers in the coming days.
The Associated Press has reached out to the Johnsavicton Health System for comment.