Former NFL player Marshawn Lynch sat down with Dr. Fauci for a conversation about the COVID vaccine as a prat of Fauci’s effort to get as many minorities vaccinated as possible. In the discussion, Lynch said that he hadn’t been vaccinated yet and explained a lot of the distrust in the black community in doing so.
“When it comes to the government giving back to communities that look like me, we don’t seem to be on the well-received end of those situations,” Lynch said in the interview that was taped last month. “It gets to the point where it’s almost like a gamble.”
A March Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll stated that 24% of Black American adults will probably or definitely not get vaccinated. That’s down from over 40% in March. This number is now about the same as that for white Americans at 26% and Hispanic Americans at 22%.
I’ll add that as someone who follows how COVID is handled in their state pretty closely, education and public conversations are important and having someone like Lynch to ask what a lot of people are thinking, using his platform to share these responses can make a difference, regarding whether people choose to inevitably get the vaccine or not.
Fauci responded saying, “The reluctance you express is a reluctance that’s founded in historical reality. So how do we get past that? And the reason why we’ve got to get past that is because we don’t want African Americans in the community to not have the advantage of the protection of something that really works, because of history.” And he told Lynch about the importance of him trying to tap every possible outlet saying, “That’s why we’re talking to you, Marshawn.”
At one point during the interview, Lynch asked “Can I be myself?” which is when he began to open up. The questions began to flow with him asking, “Will the vaccine leave me more “f**ked up” than if I just take my chances without it, Will the vaccine shorten my life expectancy? The vaccine came out in a year — you sure that isn’t too quick? Was the vaccine tested on more whites than Blacks? And, if so, how will we know it’s safe for Black people?”
After Fauci explained the high comorbidity rates among blacks as in hypertension and diabetes, Lynch responded, “So, what it sounds to me, we have a bigger problem than coronavirus.” In the end, he ultimately did sound like he would be open to taking the vaccine.