‘Tuskegee Is In The Back Of My Mind’: Black Americans Wary Of Volunteering For COVID Studies
Deep distrust in a medical system and government that has time and again exploited black Americans is hampering scientists' efforts now to get a better idea of why such severe racial disparities are being seen in the coronavirus outbreak. Meanwhile, ProPublica looks at Chicago's early deaths--the vast majority of whom were black. And as social distancing arrests pick up, data show that minorities are being disproportionately targeted.
Los Angeles Times:
Coronavirus: Black Angelenos Fear Another Tuskegee Experiment
The invitation to participate in a COVID-19 antibody study arrived in Jacquelyn Temple’s inbox early last month. Initially, the 72-year-old Leimert Park resident felt hope. She wondered whether the study and accompanying blood test could answer why she had been experiencing months of respiratory problems, even through her coronavirus test had come back negative. Maybe, she thought, the test would reveal that she had been exposed and recovered. (Jennings, 5/10)
Race Disparity In Pandemic Triggers Questions
In Georgia, a very limited study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found African Americans made up 83% of 305 Georgians who had been hospitalized with COVID-19 and whose ethnicity was known. A broader sampling of incomplete state data suggests that, in cases where the race is known, black males make up 33.47% of positive male tests and black females make up 39.56% of positive female tests. Georgia’s population overall is about 32.4% African American. (Suggs, 5/10)
COVID-19 Took Black Lives First. It Didn’t Have To.
Larry Arnold lived less than a mile from a hospital but, stepping out of his South Side apartment with a 103-degree fever, he told the Uber driver to take him to another 30 minutes away. Charles Miles’ breathing was so labored when a friend called to check on him that the friend called an ambulance. Still, Miles, a retired respiratory therapist, was reluctant to leave his home. Close family support had helped Rosa Lynn Franklin recover from a stroke several years ago, but when she was admitted to the hospital in late March, her daughter could do little more than pat her on the back and say goodbye. (Eldeib, Gallardo, Johnson, Waldman, Martin, Buford, Briscoe, 5/9)
The New York Times:
Questions Of Bias In Covid-19 Treatment Add To The Mourning For Black Families
Long dissatisfied with the doctor treating his diabetes, Reginald Relf decided to fight through whatever was causing his nagging cough. But then his temperature spiked and his breathing became so labored that he reluctantly took his sister’s advice to visit a doctor. The staff at an urgent care clinic in suburban Chicago sent him home, without testing him for Covid-19 but after advising him to quarantine. (Eligon and Burch, 5/10)
Early Data Shows Black People Are Being Disproportionally Arrested For Social Distancing Violations
On April 17 in Toledo, Ohio, a 19-year-old black man was arrested for violating the state stay-at-home order. In court filings, police say he took a bus from Detroit to Toledo “without a valid reason.” Six young black men were arrested in Toledo last Saturday while hanging out on a front lawn; police allege they were “seen standing within 6 feet of each other.” In Cincinnati, a black man was charged with violating stay-at-home orders after he was shot in the ankle on April 7; according to a police affidavit, he was talking to a friend in the street when he was shot and was “clearly not engaged in essential activities.” (Kaplan and Hardy, 5/8)
The Washington Post:
Social Distancing Enforcement Is Ramping Up. So Is Concern That Black And Latino Residents May Face Harsher Treatment.
A New York City police officer on a social distancing patrol pushes a black man to the ground, slaps him repeatedly and kneels on his neck in an incident captured on video. In Illinois, two black men wearing surgical masks filmed themselves at Walmart being trailed by a police officer who rested his hand on his gun. The men said in the recording the officer told them they couldn’t wear masks and had to leave the store. (Jouvenal and Brice-Saddler, 5/10)