Bad Blood, Sad Memories the Tuskegee Experiment and COVID-19 Connection – Westside Story Newspaper – Online

By Eric Patterson

The Tuskegee experiment is often cited by some African-Americans as a reason to be skeptical about the COVID-19 vaccine. But the record needs to be adjusted.

My grandfather’s name was Doll Brown – an unusual glove for sure, but that was not his birth name. The grandfather was born in 1904 into a family of four daughters. Everyone said he was very cute “he looked like a doll that girls could play with”. So people started calling him, Doll. His name and his handsome appearance stuck to adulthood. That was when he made “Doll Brown” his legal government name, the name on his driver’s license as well as his death certificate.

In the 1930s, when Grandpa was at his peak, approximately one in every 10 Americans suffered from syphilis, according to an article by John H. Stokes. The disease was dubbed the “3rd Great Plague” because of its significant effect on the population worldwide. This ratio was even higher in the rural south, where the grandfather had grown up. Then, in 1932, the U.S. Public Health Service, the Syphilis Study was initiated in Tuskegee, Alabama (falsely referred to as the “Tuskegee Experiment”). The government came to town to study (experiment) blacks who had contracted this rapidly spreading disease. With good looks, the ladies’s husband, Doll Brown, was one of them. The men were promised basic treatment and health care to further study and help eradicate this plague they called “Bad Blood”. The study included men with and without syphilis. None were treated. Everyone was given a placebo.

Brown Doll, 1904 -1976

Elsewhere in the world, Stoke’s article states that “the effective use of penicillin was discovered and in 1943 the first patient was treated.” Within 12 months, over 10,000 early syphilis patients were treated. Widespread use of penicillin was a major force behind the historic decline in reported cases of syphilis. There was a 95 per cent reduction in new cases of syphilis in the UK between 1946 and 1955. Doctors attributed this reduction to the direct effect of the healing powers of penicillin. The rapid proactive implementation of this new medical treatment made all the difference. Meanwhile, blacks involved in the government study in Tuskegee will remain untreated for another thirty years. Moreover, their names were placed on a national “Do Not Treat” list and they were denied military service and job opportunities. Families were destroyed. Grandpa finally died of gangrene. Grandpa’s story is why I got involved in the California “Vaccinate All 58” initiative. I recognize the global importance of setting the record in relation to the so-called “Tuskegee Experiment”. When African-Americans today cite that study as an excuse not to get the potentially life-saving COVID-19 vaccine, I’m confused and worried. The saying “my people die of ignorance” still sounds true today. My family, friends and their families have lived with the spectrum of that shocking study for over 90 years. We just wish the grandfather and the other victims could have “taken the hit”. Unfortunately, they were denied this opportunity. Not making treatment available to those black men was at the heart of the government’s racist conspiracy. These men were not injected with anything.

And here we are today, the unfortunate “Tuskegee Experiment” still victimizing African-Americans, ironically, for a completely different reason. This time, we are our worst enemies.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has disproportionately affected the lives of blacks, loud misinformed individuals have emerged who claim the government is trying to conduct another “Tuskegee Experiment” in our community. The scariest thing about that argument is that many of these people are very intelligent and educated professionals who seem to know what they are talking about. It is said that “everyone is ignorant, just about different topics”. Sadly, the unhealthy, aggressive ignorance of this group is killing our people because of the blinding influence they exert on the naive.

Historically, new vaccinations and medicines have been proven safe and effective. That explains why blacks in Jim Crow South, Tuskegee, were not offered the effective, healing benefits of penicillin, the medical device newly discovered at the time.

When the COVID-19 vaccine became available, it was initially administered to physicians who respond initially. Once it became widely available in our community, non-Zika aliens aggressively filled meeting places and steadily increased their community vaccination rates, while black vaccination rates lagged behind. Something for opponents to think about.
During this current COVID-19 pandemic, if we do not respond to the urgent call to help ourselves by getting vaccinated, instead relying on harmful misinformation, then the legacy of the terrifying “Tuskegee Experiment” will take many more lives. of blacks – all of these should matter.

Dedicated to the memory of the grandfather,
Brown Doll, 1904 -1976
Tuskegee, Alabama

Eric Patterson is a Free Mason who holds a BS degree in Sociology and an MBA in Logistics and Supply Chain Management. A former captain in the 82nd Air Division, he served eight years in the military on special duty tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Bad Blood, Sad Memories the Tuskegee Experiment and COVID-19 Connection – Westside Story Newspaper – Online Source link Bad Blood, Sad Memories the Tuskegee Experiment and COVID-19 Connection – Westside Story Newspaper – Online

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