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EXCLUSIVE: Race Shouldn’t Be Sole Basis for Nominating a Supreme Court Justice, Ben Carson Says

ORLANDO, Fla.—Former presidential candidate and celebrated neurosurgeon Ben Carson says he is disappointed with how President Joe Biden selected Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson.

“When we start making the criteria for public positions something that people have no control over—they have no control over their race … it goes against all the work, the blood that has been shed by people who are trying to achieve equality, who are advocating, people like Dr. Martin Luther King,” Carson told The Daily Signal in an interview Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC.

Two years ago, during his presidential campaign, Biden promised that if given the opportunity, he would appoint a black woman to the Supreme Court. 

Earlier Friday, the president nominated Jackson, a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, to succeed retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. 

Carson, without commenting on Jackson’s qualifications, said it is troubling to see a president nominate someone based upon his or her race.

“People will assume that she got the position because of her color and not because of her qualifications,” Carson told The Daily Signal. “That may not be the case, but that will be a natural assumption.” 

“We’ve made so much progress that there really is no need … the fact of the matter is there are so many qualified black women, Hispanic women, all kinds of people in our society, and the natural process is going to land them in positions,” Carson added. “You don’t have to do something that violates the whole concept of fairness and equality.”

As a small crowd watched Carson’s conversation with “The Daily Signal Podcast,” he also shared his opinions on Biden’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“You can’t mix science and medicine with politics,” Carson, the former secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development in the Trump administration, said. 

As a distinguished neurosurgeon and respected statesman, Carson has a unique perspective on the fields of medicine and politics. 

When it comes to the Biden administration’s handling of COVID-19, he said, it “actually saddens me to say that the way that they’ve handled it has created tremendous distrust of government agencies like the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and National Institutes of Health.” 

Carson said this distrust “could be very detrimental” in the future should another pandemic or similarly serious situation occur, and Americans don’t believe the words of their elected officials. 

The Biden administration’s efforts to vaccinate children against COVID-19, and its failure to acknowledge natural immunity, have fostered such distrust, he said. 

It’s especially concerning that the Biden administration “won’t recognize natural immunity,” Carson said, adding: 

We’ve known about natural immunity for hundreds of years, and it’s been very effective and we used it effectively. Now, all of a sudden: ‘Natural immunity, what’s that?’ We’re firing doctors and nurses who were on the front lines, who had COVID, who have antibodies, who have natural immunity. And we’re saying it doesn’t count anymore all of a sudden, even though it’s better immunity than anything which you get from the vaccine.

Carson said he sees only one reason why Biden and his health officials are ignoring natural immunity. 

“That is, if you recognize natural immunity, then it puts a big hole in your argument that everybody has to have the vaccine,” he said.

Carson also said he is troubled to see biological males, such as University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas, compete in women’s sports. 

“There are a lot of physiological things that are not going to be reversed by hormone treatment,” Carson said of transgender athletes, adding:

It’s not fair at all because men and women have different physical structures. In swimming, for instance, men have bigger hands, which means when they’re swimming and they make that cup and they swim, they’re going to have an advantage. Their pelvic structure is different.

Carson said he thinks a “transgender league” may be the best way to protect girls and women’s sports while  providing transgender athletes with opportunities to compete. 

But allowing men to compete against women is “completely unfair,” he said. 

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