President Biden mistakenly put the blame on the “Tuskegee airmen” for increasing black hesitancy concerning the covid vaccine.
“Many older members of the community have memories of experimentation on blacks that we were not told about, like with the Tuskegee airmen,” President Biden said. “And so there is a reluctance.”
Biden discussed black vaccine hesitancy during an interview with YouTuber Jackie Aina.
But the Tuskegee Flight Program was about proving the ability of blacks to be effective in combat, not medical experiments.
Biden was likely referring to health officials experimenting on blacks during the “Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in Black Males.” The government study, starting in 1932, recruited 600 blacks to study syphilis but scientists would not treat them while they had the disease.
The AP exposed the program in 1972, prompting hearings on the issue. The program led to black Americans being suspicious of health officials, leading to their reluctance to get government-backed treatment.
Biden also claimed that many blacks have health disparities due to growing up without fruit and living in “fenceline” communities near chemical plants or refineries.
“Many of them have found themselves behind other because of their being exposed to an unhealthy environment when they were children,” he said.
Biden also said many blacks do not have cars, making it more difficult to get to the pharmacy.
“A lot of African Americans, in particular older folks, may live within 5-7 miles of a drug store but they don’t have a car. They can’t get there. Not all, but many,” he said.
Author: Scott Dowdy