Dr. Anthony Fauci discusses impact and severity of COVID-19 disparities in African Americans
By Stacy M. Brown NNPA Newswire Senior Correspondent @StacyBrownMedia | 8/7/2020, 6 a.m.
During a 30-minute interview with BlackPressUSA streamed live over Facebook, YouTube, and www.Black- PressUSA.com, Dr. Anthony Fauci, di- rector of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke of the importance of convincing African Americans to participate in clinical tri- als. He also said that school re-openings should depend mainly upon the location and the infection rate in a given area. Fauci also said a viable coronavirus vac- cine is likely only a few months away.
“The fundamental principle is that we should try as best as we possibly can to get children back to school because we know the psychological aspect of that and the unintended consequences for mothers and fathers who may need to stop working, so we should try to get back to school,” Dr. Fauci said when asked about the impact of the pandemic on the upcoming school year.
“However, paramount needs to be the safety, health, and welfare of children, teachers, and families,” Dr. Fauci added. “We live in a big country. Some places have low incidents and can open schools while some are high. Some areas rate of infection is so high where it’s not pru- dent to open schools. You don’t want to endanger their health.”
A member of the White House Coron- avirus Task Force, Dr. Fauci has at times found himself at odds with President Donald Trump. For example, earlier this year, the president announced that he would withdraw U.S. funding and sup- port for the World Health Organization (WHO). However, Dr. Fauci told Black- PressUSA that he still maintains a close relationship with the organization.
“I still work closely with the World Health Organization,” said Dr. Fauci. “I’m on a weekly phone call with them, and I signed a memorandum of under- standing. We’re all in with the WHO.”
During the interview, which included National Newspaper Publishers Associa- tion President and CEO, Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., Dr. Fauci also demonstrated the proper way to wear a facemask. “Early on, there was a shortage of masks because we didn’t want to take masks away from health providers who needed them,” Dr. Fauci remarked. “It’s easy to get a cloth mask now.”
Dr. Fauci explained further that, “when there are droplets when someone sneezes or coughs, you [are protected]. You can take it and wash it with soap and water or stick it in the washing machine.”
Addressing the disparities surrounding COVID-19 and other illnesses, Dr. Fauci pointed to many African Americans, Latinx, and Native Americans occupying “Those co-morbidities are like dia- betes, hypertension, heart disease, chronic kidney disease, and lung dis- ease. It’s very clear that African Ameri- cans have a higher incidence, and the reality is that you suffer more.”
The hospitalization rates per 100,000 people are stunning when comparing African Americans and Caucasians, Dr. Fauci proclaimed.
“In many respects, it’s unacceptable that it should be that way,” he said, noting that the hospitalization rate per 100,000 African Americans stands at essential jobs that provide employees with little— or no — protection.