According to the nation’s top infectious disease expert, black Americans should get the newly developed COVID-19 vaccine partly because a member of their race participated in making it.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, made the shocking statement Tuesday in a virtual appearance with the National Urban League livestreamed on Facebook.
The meeting, “Making It Plain: A Conversation with Dr. Fauci,” focused on the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on African-Americans and other “people of color.”
When asked about the reluctance of the black community to participate in medical trials over mistrust of the government, Fauci quickly moved to shore up trust in the vaccine and the testing process.
While the doctor admitted there is skepticism around the speed with which the vaccine made its way to the American public, he claimed cutting-edge technology cut the development timeline from years to months.
“I myself would be perfectly comfortable in taking the vaccine, and I would recommend it to my family,” Fauci assured those watching the virtual meeting.
The disease expert then pivoted to focus on the race of one scientist involved with the development of the Moderna vaccine, which he said has “exquisite” levels of efficacy against COVID-19.
“That vaccine was actually developed in my institute’s Vaccine Research Center by a team of scientists led by Dr. Barney Graham and his close colleague, Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, or Kizzy Corbett,” Fauci said.
“Kizzy is an African-American scientist who is right at the forefront of the development of the vaccine.”
The doctor is so confident that black Americans will respond to this race-based message that he even suggested opening with the line to encourage them to trust the vaccine.
“So the first thing you might want to say to my African-American brothers and sisters is that, ‘The vaccine that you’re gonna be taking was developed by an African-American woman.’ And that is just a fact.”
While some people might base their personal vaccine schedules on the diversity of the team behind the inoculations, most are more concerned with their safety and effectiveness.
Despite Fauci’s upbeat attitude on the livestream, just one day earlier he admitted that the long-awaited vaccine isn’t exactly sunshine in a bottle.
During a Monday appearance on CNN, the health authority said he wasn’t sure if those who have taken the vaccine are still able to infect others after being inoculated.
Fauci’s central and controversial role in America’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has drawn criticism from citizens and experts alike.
One medical doctor recently blasted him for alleged misinformation pushed to the American people surrounding the vaccine.
Although Fauci seems convinced, it appears there is much work to be done before many Americans will trust the vaccine with full confidence.
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