FEATURED PHOTO: DR. KIZZMEKIA CORBETT, SCIENTIST VIRAL IMMUNOLOGIST AT THE VACCINE RESEARCH CENTER AT THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF HEALTH
TheGrio.com, By DeMicia Inman, Posted December 17th 2020
Dr. Fauci acknowledged the historical practices and events of the Black community in which some are skeptical of a COVID-19 vaccine
Dr. Anthony Fauci sat with Dr. Wayne Frederick, president of Howard University, and Ambrose Lane Jr. on behalf of the Black Coalition Against Covid, Black Doctor, and other organizations, to discuss the pandemic and Black communities.
During the conversation on Tuesday, Fauci acknowledged the schism between Black people and medical institutions. He attempted to offer assurance to anyone skeptical of the COVID-19 vaccine without discounting historical practices and events.
“I think the first thing that we need to appreciate, those of us who are trying to convince our African American brothers and sisters to trust,” he responded. “First understand and empathize with the reasons for the mistrust as opposed to pushing back against the mistrust. One of the ways that I try to do it is to try and dissect out not the fundamental core of the mistrust, but take the particular situation you’re dealing with now and say let’s try to start off on an even footing.”
Fauci added the work done by Black scientists on the COVID-19 vaccines. He celebrated the work lead by Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, who assisted in the development of the vaccine.
“The first thing you might wanna say to my African American brothers and sisters is that the vaccine you’re going to be taking was developed by an African American woman — and that’s just a fact,” Fauci said. “I think that’s one of the things that people don’t fully appreciate.”
He continued, “the terrible and shameful things that happened a long time ago are inexcusable. It would be doubly tragic that the lingering effects of that prevent you from doing something so important for your individual health, the health of your families, and the health of your communities.”
He appealed for the Black community to think of their loved ones and how this vaccine could potentially save their lives.
“The time is now to put skepticism aside so that you can take advantage of the advances in biomedical research and health that you deserve. Because you’ve been through things that were very unfortunate in the past. Let’s get you now in front of the line to get the advances that are now available to everybody. They should not be deprived of the African American community because of things and reasons that were before your time and beyond your control. So get with the program, help yourself. You’ll be saving yourself and your family illness, as well as that of your community,” he said.
theGrio reported Dr. Fauci and Byron Allen, the owner of theGrio,held a similar exclusive conversation on the coronavirus pandemic and the Black community. As the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Fauci shared outlooks on COVID-19 and necessary steps to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
“We’re dealing with a public health issue and the enemy is the virus. The enemy is not the person who is either wearing or not wearing a mask. The enemy is the virus,” Fauci said to theGrio.
The Black Coalition Against COVID is an initiative launched through collaborative efforts made by Howard University, Morehouse School of Medicine, Meharry Medical College, Charles Drew University, National Medical Association, National Black Nurses Association, and the National Urban League. On the official website, facts and resources are provided, geared to Black people amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“In the spirit of unconditional love for every single Black American, we have locked arms in an initiative to place the health and safety of our community at the heart of the national conversation about COVID-19. Respect for our Black bodies and our Black lives must be a core value for those who are working to find the vaccine for this virus that has already taken so many of our loved ones,” issued a love letter, published by the coalition.