Black Doctors On Encouraging Vaccine Participation & Black Mothers On Facing Unique Pandemic Challenges

Plus, 1/3 of Black Americans have lost someone close to Covid-19, fewer Black Michigan residents are getting, dying from Covid-19, Africa needs a vaccine for 60% in 2-3 years, and more.

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Joe Biden attends a coronavirus briefing in Wilmington, Del., on Oct. 28, 2020. One of the participants in the briefing included, lower right, Yale University professor of medicine Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith. | Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Joe Biden attends a coronavirus briefing in Wilmington, Del., on Oct. 28, 2020. One of the participants in the briefing included, lower right, Yale University professor of medicine Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith. | Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Biden adviser focused on the pandemic’s stark racial disparities

“Among Nunez-Smith’s immediate concerns: ensuring that minority communities get priority access to the vaccines that may start becoming available as early as next month – and restoring their frayed trust in science and government so that they are not afraid to get immunized. Vaccines can’t blunt an outbreak if enough people don’t get them.”

Column: ‘Why won’t Black folks trust us’ on COVID-19? These doctors and nurses have answers

“So what’s the solution then? I suspect that recommendations from a number of Black doctors who have agreed to vet federal regulators’ decisions about COVID-19 vaccines will help allay people’s fears. But, in the meantime, so will honesty and humility.”

Over One-Third of African Americans Have Lost Someone Close to COVID: Poll | Newsweek

“Monday's poll shows that 34 percent of African Americans have known a person who died because of COVID-19. In total, 23 percent of those who responded to the poll said someone close to them had due to the coronavirus. Along party lines, 30 percent of Democrats polled knew someone close to them who had died because of COVID-19 while 18 percent of Republicans said the virus had taken the life of someone they had known.”

When Covid-19 closed schools, Black, Hispanic and poor kids took biggest hit in math, reading

“‘It made me feel like I was failing as a parent,’ said Angélica González, a mother of three from Seattle whose middle child, Lolly, a third grader, had always excelled in school until her classes went virtual last spring.”

RELATED: The Challenges Black America Face with Distant and Virtual Learning During COVID-19

With COVID-19 hitting hospitals hard, home births are on the rise

“Kiki Jordan, a certified nurse midwife, said she’s received a lot more calls from Black expectant mothers. “COVID hit right around the same time that lots of people were starting to talk, and there was a lot of awareness gained about outcomes for Black women and Black babies in the hospitals,” Jordan said.“The combination of those two things — definitely we’ve seen people actually taking the leap and choosing out-of-hospital birth. It’s been like nothing I’ve ever seen before.”

VOICES: Deconstructing the systems crushing the South's young people in the pandemic

“Typically, young people and the South are left out of national conversations. We're not going to be left out anymore. You can open the door, or we can kick it down — but either way we are coming through.”

“We Don’t Even Know Who Is Dead or Alive”: Trapped Inside an Assisted Living Facility During the Pandemic

“What it’s like to stay alive as the virus charts its fatal course through a home for the elderly in one of the worst-hit neighborhoods in the Bronx.”

Coronavirus in Kenya: The doctor who helped children to smile

“With the death of more specialist doctors, and the government seemingly unable to immediately address the situation, the doctors called for a strike starting 7 December. before suspending it for two weeks, to give room for further talks.

"How do you fight a war when all your soldiers are falling in numbers? We need to be protected’…”

Honestie Hodges, handcuffed in Michigan at 11, dies aged 14 of Covid | The Guardian

“Niemeyer said Honestie tested positive for Covid-19 on 9 November, her birthday, and was sent back to her home in Grand Rapids. Later that night, she was rushed to the hospital by ambulance after experiencing stomach pains. She said her granddaughter had no underlying conditions, but her health rapidly deteriorated in the hospital and she was placed on a ventilator.”


“Part of the Solution”: Meet the Black Doctor Who Joined a Vaccine Trial After Her Dad Died of COVID

“Being a public health physician, I needed a way to be a part of the solution,” she says. “I knew it was important for Black and Brown persons to participate if we were ever to get at a truly effective solution.”

The Struggle Is Real: Working Black Mothers, Childcare And COVID-19

“The lack of childcare to meet my family’s needs feels very isolating, but in reality, it is a systemic issue that is creating a pandemic within a pandemic for working mothers, and as a Black woman trying to survive this pandemic, I know that I am not alone.”

One Baltimore mom’s stresses of pregnancy, pandemic and racism reflect those of many Black mothers, experts say

“With a 12-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter at home, Smith understood the complexities of motherhood. But in March, she was furloughed. In April, her children were at home doing virtual learning, and in May, the death of George Floyd at the hands of police gave her anxiety over her 12-year-old son.”

American Medical Association recognizes racism as public health threat

“The AMA’s House of Delegates adopted policies on Monday to recognize race as a social construct that is different from ethnicity, genetic ancestry or biology. It also supports ending using race as a proxy for biology in medical education, research and clinical practice.”

Fewer Black Michigan residents getting, dying from COVID-19, report finds

“The number of cases between March and October dropped from 176 cases per million people per day to 59 cases per million people per day…

Likewise, deaths have dropped between April and October from 21.7 deaths per million people per day to 1 death per million people per day.”

Cardiologist Develops App To Reach Black Community

“A University of Cincinnati cardiologist wants to empower communities that have taken a big hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. And he thinks a smartphone app could help.”

Their Pandemic Safety Plan Starts With a ‘Decontamination Station’

“Quentin has high blood pressure, and after discovering blood clots in his legs, he was recently diagnosed with diabetes. The data show that African-Americans with pre-existing conditions are more susceptible to this virus. I never really talked to him about this, but that compounded my stress levels. I am thinking, this is my husband and the father of my four boys. I don’t like the term fear, but that is what it was.”

Better collection, reporting of race and ethnicity data are essential for fighting Covid-19

“The federal government needs to provide technical assistance and guidance to help state and local officials accurately report their race and ethnicity data, an essential step that can inform action to address health disparities as a national priority. Such data can also help develop strategies that target interventions for kidney disease and other chronic diseases that adversely and disproportionately affect people of color.”

Report: More Half Of Black, Hispanic And Native American Workers Have Jobs That Can’t Be Done Remotely

“Researchers estimated that 53% of Hispanic, 51% of Black, 51% of Native American and 47% of multiracial workers hold nonessential or essential jobs requiring in-person work during the pandemic, compared to 41% of white and 42% of Asian workers.”

In Florida and elsewhere, Black-owned funeral homes adjust for coronavirus, serve communities

“These businesses arose out of a necessity, Close said, because many white-owned funeral homes in segregated areas took Black bodies only through the back door. Black funeral homes turned into local mainstays, where hearses doubled as ambulances and the funeral home director also served as a notary and even pastor.”

From Tuskegee to a COVID Vaccine: Diversity and Racism Are Hurdles in Drug Trials | U.S. News & World Report

“Yet while the industry insists it is moving with deliberate speed toward diversity and inclusion in experimental drug trials, some say it's taking baby steps and has a long way to go toward building trust with African Americans and other minority communities.”

📰 9 Local News Stories

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MICHIGAN — Dr. Khaldun: State is ready to distribute COVID-19 vaccine when it's approved

CONNECTICUT — Race Factoring Into CT's Coronavirus Battle: Here's How

MISSOURI — African American Churches Will Form A New Front Line In Kansas City's Fight Against The Coronavirus

CALIFORNIA — Blacks in California are dying from COVID-19 at a higher rate. What’s being done to help?

PENNSYLVANIA — Philly’s Black residents suffer the most from COVID-19 | Coronavirus Newsletter

OREGON — New fund for Black Oregonians faces mounting legal pressure

Program providing COVID-19 relief to Oregon sex workers meets overwhelming demand

OHIOCleveland efforts to recruit black, minority patients for COVID-19 vaccine trials an uphill battle: Part 4

This article is a part of a four-part series from the Northeast Ohio Solutions Journalism Collaborative and The Cleveland Observer.


Official: Africa needs COVID-19 vaccine for 60% in 2-3 years

“The director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, John Nkengasong, told reporters on Thursday that if it takes four to five years, “the virus will be endemic in our communities. African health officials are taking heart in vaccine progress, but concerns are growing that the continent of 1.3 billion people will be near the end of the line in obtaining doses.”

Zimbabwe tightens gathering limits as COVID-19 cases rise

“An analysis of official COVID-19 data shows that new cases have been rising since November and are now averaging 100 cases daily, compared to the previous two months when infections stood at about 25 a day. As of Wednesday, the country has registered 10,129 confirmed coronavirus cases, including 277 related deaths – up from 8,374 infections and 243 deaths a month ago.”

Coronavirus in South Africa: A nurse's fight against the 'Covid storm'

“Filmed over six months, this edition of BBC Africa Eye follows Tshego, a nurse and mother from the Alexandra township in Johannesburg, fighting a virus that has brought her face to face with stigma, poverty and corruption.”

Caribbean countries urge citizens to continue following COVID protocols

“St Lucia recorded no new cases of the virus on Thursday but the health authorities said that it was urging members of the public, especially during this holiday season, to continue to properly wear a face mask in public, maintain consistent physical distancing, and wash and sanitize hands often.”


Dr. Fauci on the Black Community Trusting COVID-19 Vaccine

“In an exclusive interview with Byron Allen (CEO of Entertainment Studios, Parent company of theGrio), Dr. Anthony Fauci shares his thoughts on how to get the Black community to trust the vaccine.”

Vaccine Ethics: Doctor Warns Against Paying People to Get COVID Vaccine as U.S. Preps Distribution

“She says there are major concerns about how to ensure at-risk groups get vaccinated while overcoming public doubts about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines, but paying people to get vaccinated would be a mistake. "We need to have the public trust that this vaccine will be safe, and we cannot cut corners," she says.”