Dr. Anthony Fauci Discusses the Impact and Severity of COVID-19 Disparities in African Americans

“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 247, compared to 53 per 100,000 whites.

“In other words, that’s almost five times the chance of getting hospitalized even though African Americans comprise just 13 percent of the [U.S.] population,” Dr. Fauci observed.

“That’s more than something we need to deal with.”

Dr. Fauci added that there are five fundamental things everyone could do to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“Wear a mask, avoid crowds of more than 10, keep a distance of at least six feet, locations should seriously consider closing bars and getting people who go to bars to stop or do it outside, and wash hands frequently either with soap and water or alcohol Purell.”

Clinical trials are vital, Dr. Fauci said.

“We hope that we will have an effective vaccine by the end of the year, which means that as we get into 2021, we want to distribute it for those who could benefit,” he added.

“We need to spend extra effort to protect African Americans, and the way you find out if the vaccine is effective is the enrollment in a vaccine trial. It would be a terrible shame if African Americans stayed away from clinical trials, and they didn’t provide for themselves the vaccine that could protect them.”

Dr. Fauci suggested that he wears a mask everywhere goes and demanded that doing so shouldn’t be about politics.

“This is about protecting each other. We’re all in this together,” Dr. Fauci said.

“I’m pleased to see that we now have the president talking about wearing a mask where he didn’t before, and the vice president wears a mask everywhere he goes. We’ve got to pull together.”

Whether reinfection of the coronavirus can occur remains somewhat of a mystery, Dr. Fauci explained.

“When you get infected with any virus, generally, when you recover, your body has made a good immune response to recover,” Dr. Fauci noted.

“We know that happens in people who had COVID-19. We don’t know what the duration of that is. There are varying levels of antibodies in people who recover, and what we’re following is how long they last. Some people find that it doesn’t last very long.”

He continued:

“There are other types of immunity that go beyond, and they’re called T-cells or cellular immunity, which may also play a role in protecting people from being infected. Likely a degree of protection is pretty good for a finite period.

“There are no well-documented cases of people actually being re-infected. There have been some anecdotally stories of people recovering who seemed to have gotten infected, but we don’t know. There’s no real hard evidence that’s happening.”