Speaking to the challenges President-elect Joe Biden will face in those first 100 days in office, the Reverend Al Sharpton says Biden will have to deal with the racial disparity in Covid-19 cases and deaths, according to Newsweek.
We know that Black and Brown people are getting infected and dying at a higher rate than White people when it comes to the virus. “(Biden) must deal with the economic plight and he must deal with the racial disparity in COVID-19, Blacks and browns have been tested positive disproportionately and are dying disproportionately,” Sharpton told MSNBC.
But Sharpton outlined two key issues that could prevent communities in need from receiving and taking the vaccine; the first being that Black Americans often live in healthcare deserts, meaning there are little to no hospitals or healthcare centers in their neighborhoods.
The other major challenge is the Black community’s mistrust of vaccines based on our own history and rightfully so. “Many in the African American community, we don’t trust vaccines because of past history like the Tuskegee experiment,” Sharpton said. “(Biden) needs to deal with that health disparity, particularly in light of COVID-19.”
In case y’all aren’t familiar or need a quick refresher, the Tuskegee syphilis experiment was conducted by the U.S. Public Health Service from 1932 to 1972. At least 600 Black men from Macon County, Alabama, were recruited for a study into the effects of the disease and the cardiovascular and neurological damage caused.
Of those recruited, 399 had syphilis though were not told this. After an original months-long study did not find the results the researchers wanted, they continued assessing the men until their deaths—with treatment with penicillin, available from the mid-1940s, withheld from those involved.
In order for Biden to address these issues, Sharpton suggests Biden discuss the matter with groups such as the Congressional Black Caucus.
We previously reported that the virus will be available as early as December. We’ll keep you posted on any updates.
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