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Surgeon general on medical racism: ‘We need to acknowledge these things’

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Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on Sunday that the history of medical racism in the U.S. has to be addressed in order to combat the coronavirus pandemic in the Black community.

“We need to continue to acknowledge what happened in the past,” said Adams while appearing on ABC’s “This Week.”

“There are real issues going on today, right now in this country when you look at 700 women dying of pregnancy-related complications, most of them Black and brown in the United States, when you look at not just COVID but hypertension and cancer disparities. We need to acknowledge these things and we need to show people meaningfully in a real sense what we’re doing to improve on these measures,” said Adams.

Several studies have indicated that communities of color are more likely to be heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. This has been attributed to a higher likelihood of being essential workers as well as being more likely to have undiagnosed or untreated pre-existing conditions.

“We need to make sure our pastors and imams and rabbis, all of whom I’m working with, have the facts, so that they can spread it to their congregants,” Adams said on Sunday.

“And we need to walk the talk, and that’s why I got vaccinated on live TV. I want people to know that as a scientist. as a doctor I’ve looked at the data. I know the protections that are in place. I know an African American female helped develop this vaccine and Tony Fauci and I made sure that the trials were enrolled with diverse participants, and I got vaccinated because I trust it and it’s how we end this pandemic.”

Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, the woman Adams mentioned, is a scientist at the National Institutes of Health who helped in developing Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine, which was authorized a few weeks ago for emergency use. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, has praised Corbett’s work in the past and pointed to her contributions as reason to trust the vaccine.

Adams’s comments on Sunday came after a Black doctor died of COVID-19 after alleging racist care at a hospital in Indiana.

Dr. Susan Moore said in a video from her hospital bed that she had to “beg” for treatment.

Tags ABC This Week Anthony Fauci COVID-19 vaccine Jerome Adams jerome adams medical racism Surgeon general White House coronavirus task force
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