Dayton NAACP unit calls for state medical board investigation after state senator’s comments

Dayton NAACP unit calls for state medical board investigation after state senator’s comments
State Sen. Steve Huffman R-Tipp City (Contributed Photo)

TIPP CITY — The Dayton Unit of the NAACP called for an investigation into State Senator Stephen Huffman, R-Tipp City following comments he made about African-Americans that have been deemed racially offensive.

In a letter sent to the president of the state medical board Tuesday, the NAACP asked for an investigation and ultimately for the board to revoke Huffman’s license, stemming from his comments regarding blacks, minority groups, and COVID-19 infections.

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Huffman, who is licensed to practice medicine in Ohio, was asked a question about why some African-Americans are being diagnosed with COVID-19 more than other groups of people, and used the phrase “colored population” in his response.

“Could it just be that African Americans ... the colored population ... do not wash their hands as well as other groups?” Huffman said.

The NAACP said Huffman’s ability to practice medicine and been “impaired by his bias and racism” and urged the board to review previous cases and notify patients to seek a second opinion.

“Senator Huffman displayed extremely poor judgment and a dangerous insensitivity to Black Ohioans when he remarked at a committee hearing on the subject of racism as a public health crisis,” Dayton NAACP President Dr. Derrick Foward said in the letter. “His conduct shows him to be incompetent to treat patients with fairness, empathy, and the appropriate duty of care that all people deserve.”

“His cases should be reviewed and his patients notified so that anyone who received inadequate or tainted treatment from Huffman can seek a second opinion from a provider who will properly recognize their humanity,” Foward said.

Huffman issued an apology June 11 saying, in part, “Regrettably, I asked a question in an unintentionally awkward way that was perceived as hurtful, and was exactly the opposite of what I meant.”

When reached by News Center 7 Tuesday afternoon, Huffman declined to issue a comment saying he has not read the letter.

Other groups in the state including the ACLU of Ohio and Montgomery County Democratic Party previously have demanded Huffman to either resign or be removed from office.

We’ll continue to update this story as new details become available.