As the Food and Drug Administration approved a second vaccine for Emergency Use Authorization, the federal government kept escalating its campaign to pressure Blacks disproportionately impacted by coronavirus to take the experimental drug.
Its $115 million strategy includes carting out Black doctors, nurses, politicians and celebrities to publicly take the shot for photo ops or to advocate for it.
The FDA approved Moderna’s vaccine Dec. 18 as the U.S. death toll surpassed 300,000. The government advisory committee recommended Moderna’s vaccine for Emergency Use Authorization the day before. Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine was concluding roughly its second week of distribution at Final Call presstime.
Highly public praise and applause for the vaccines and those who have taken the Pfizer vaccine on television saturated national and local news cycles. It is part of the U.S. government’s “defeat despair” campaign to build confidence and trust in the vaccine. Millions still say they don’t plan to take it and Blacks are leading among those who distrust or don’t plan to take the vaccine.
After getting a televised vaccine with Vice President Mike Pence, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said it’s important to engage “trusted voices” like Black doctors with the National Medical Association and “gatekeepers,” including national Black organizations, the Divine 9 fraternities and sororities at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, as well as Native tribal leaders and national Hispanic organizations.
It’s the same old playbook, but there’s no reason to employ another one, said Nation of Islam researcher and student minister Wesley Muhammad, a sought after lecturer and writer who holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.
Forty-two percent of U.S. adults say they would not get the vaccine, according to Fors Marsh Group, the market and research company handling the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ outreach campaign to curb mistrust about the vaccine.
Trust remains a significant barrier, according to the company, which is working to increase vaccine acceptance while reinforcing basic prevention measures, such as mask wearing, social distancing and handwashing. The propaganda assault targets what Fors Mars calls the “Movable Middle.”
“In order to do their greatest evil against Black people, they always put a Black mask on it. So, whenever we see a Black person exalted by our enemy, at any given moment, we should suspect that behind that something very bad is coming down the line,” stated Dr. Muhammad.
“It’s all about controlling the narrative, and this is a very aggressive narrative. Black people have never been at the center of a mainstream narrative in a so-called positive way, the way we are at the center of this covid vaccine narrative,” he added.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla drew criticism and some say heightened vaccine hesitancy and distrust when he admitted not taking his company’s purported “safe” vaccine. He did not want to “cut the line.”
“His children are not getting the vaccine. He’s not going to ‘cut the line.’ Let Black people cut the line because their Black lives matter so much. The hell they do! The narrative is so aggressive, but it’s so transparent. Whenever this country heaps so much fake care on Black life, we should know that something very sinister is behind that,” warned Dr. Muhammad.
Mr. Bourla is a part of the Whites championing putting Black people at the front of this vaccine line as all of a sudden Black lives matter to this country, but just last year Blacks were protesting yet another display of how worthless the U.S. views Black life, he argued, referring to the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota.
The FDA advisory committee approved Moderna’s vaccine with more acceptance than Pfizer’s. There were 20 yes votes and one abstention.
The two vaccines are relatively the same, but for a few minor differences, such as the number of actual participants and demographics in each trial, according to Dr. Akili Muhammad, who practices medicine in Houston.
“I think they were both a foregone conclusion. Every person that is an ‘expert’ on these panels have many questions about long term safety as well as the reality of these being investigational and experimental. They used those terms in their documents,” observed Dr. Akili Muhammad.
“Despite all of those concerns, as well as the lack of representation of the diversity in this country and the world, they approved them both,” he continued.
Moderna’s approval came shortly after the United Kingdom reported a new variant of the virus may have caused a sharp, exponential rise in infections in London and surrounding areas.
Also, a third Alaskan reported an adverse reaction to Pfizer’s vaccine, according to the Associated Press.
Dr. Akili Muhammad remains concerned that those who are ignorant of medical misdeeds, treatment disparities and experimentation on Blacks in the past will make an emotional, fearful decision and said the federal government and major corporations who stand to profit handsomely from the vaccines.
Adding to skepticism and distrust, the Department of Health and Human Services invoked the federal PREP Act and determined that Covid-19 constitutes a public health emergency. That means companies cannot be sued for injuries as a result of Covid-19 vaccines.
Those who suffer a serious injury, or the death of a loved one, have one year from the date they were given the vaccine or allegedly injured by the vaccine to seek redress from a special agency panel.
Dr. Armon Henderson told participants during a recent virtual town hall meeting, entitled “The Role of the Black Church in These Troubled Times,” he has seen 500 to 600 Covid-19 patients at the University of Miami Hospital and similar numbers in the community who have been exposed to the virus.
Blacks, minorities, and Indigenous people have every reason and right to be skeptical about the virus itself and vaccine, he said during the session hosted by the 7th Region Coalition, a group of faith leaders. Part of the concern is the vaccine was manufactured in record breaking time, months versus 10-15 years normally required, and the monetary, profit-driven aspect cannot be overlooked, Dr. Henderson added.
According to analysts’ predictions, the market for Covid-19 vaccines “would be worth $100 billion in sales and $40 billion in post-tax profits,” said Fierce Pharma, which tracks the latest data and analysis on drugs and drug companies.
Meanwhile, the efforts to keep people from hearing the truth and warnings about Big Pharma vaccines from Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan have not stopped. On social media platforms many of those who have shared his July 4 message, “The Criterion,” have seen the message blocked or been suspended. In that address, the Minister has adamantly warned against taking vaccines produced in America by major pharmaceutical companies. He made similar warnings and the observation in a virtual address during the Nubian Leadership Circle’s online Dec. 12 conference.
“What’s wrong with the Minister? You are talking all your stuff. Why can’t the Minister tell us the view of Elijah Muhammad on these vaccines?” asked Minister Farrakhan.
“You’re already on death row and don’t even know it,” he warned. He was speaking of underlying health conditions that increases Black susceptibility to Covid-19. “So now you’re a perfect host for the Covid virus and that’s why it’s killing us,” said Min. Farrakhan.
He highlighted the value of healthy living, vitamins and life in the sun, citing St. Kitts, his mother’s Caribbean birthplace logging 27 infections and zero deaths at the time. He also referred to the much lower infection rates in Caribbean nations when compared to the United States.
“The Honorable Elijah Muhammad told me that in the sun, there are billions of vitamins that you can’t get in anything that is created, except through the sun,” said Minister Farrakhan.
You are too trusting of your enemy, warned Min. Farrakhan.
Meanwhile, Cuba, which has had overwhelming success in curtailing the virus in different countries, has approved clinical trials of two vaccines.
Trials of Mambisa, created by researchers at the Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Center and administered nasally, will be conducted in Havana, while those of Abdala, administered by a muscled injection.
But, in another attempt to coerce or convince Blacks to take the vaccine, the government propaganda machine targeted hip hop. The website Okayplayer drew criticism for a tweet, saying hip hop has an anti-vaccine problem, and blamed artists from Nas, Big Sean to Pete Rock for aiding in “vaccine hesitancy.”
On Twitter, “No!!!! The United states government has a problem with trying to eradicate us, so the trust is not there,” fired back a social media user. Another questioned who is running things at the site billed as the original progressive music site for music and culture worldwide. It was originally created and launched by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Angela “Stress” Nissel in 1998. “Blame HipHop … ‘rappers have aided…’ but not the ‘The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the PRESENT’ …. Yeah! OK! PLAYA!” replied user Minnesota Fatts.
“This is an indication that it’s a problem. Because if hip hop has an anti-vaccine problem, then vaccine hesitancy is the trend in Black America because hip hop is the trend setter for Black people,” said Dr. Wesley Muhammad. “So no, the narrative that emerged with the blink of an eye that vaccine hesitancy is diminishing, that’s not a reporting of a trend. That’s trying to simulate a trend.”