As the United States braced for a post-holiday wave in the coronavirus pandemic, hospitals reported surges in patient deaths and infections, amid a new, deadlier strain which surfaced in the United Kingdom.

And many frontline workers have been refusing Covid-19 vaccines despite being prioritized along with the elderly in nursing homes and Blacks and Indigenous populations, who suffer disproportionately from underlying health conditions.

A Forbes magazine article catalogued the growing anti-vaccine sentiment: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine shared his worry when 60 percent nursing home workers declined to take the vaccine. More than half the nurses in the critical care unit at Houston’s United Memorial Medical Center told the unit head they would not take the shot. Fifty percent of frontline workers in one California county refused to take the vaccine.

Meanwhile 20 percent to 40 percent of frontline workers in Los Angeles County and less than half of the hospital workers at St. Elizabeth Community Hospital in Tehama County, Calif., were willing to be vaccinated. One survey of hospital staff at Loretto Hospital in Chicago found 40 percent would not take the shot. Twenty-nine percent of healthcare workers were “hesitant” about taking the vaccine, a Kaiser Family Foundation survey found. The staffers cited “concerns related to potential side effects and a lack of faith in the government to ensure the vaccines were safe,” said Forbes.

Elizabeth Mumper

Then there was a survey by the New York Firefighters Association which found about 55 percent of city firefighters said they would bypass the Covid-19 vaccines. Officials at the city fire department declined to comment on the survey results, and taking the vaccine is recommended but not mandatory. Calls to the firefighters union were not returned at presstime.

“Frontline workers in the United States are disproportionately Black and Hispanic. The pandemic has taken an ‘outsized toll’ on this segment of the population, which has reportedly accounted for roughly 65 percent of fatalities in cases in which there are race and ethnicity data. A study published by the journal The Lancet over the summer found ‘healthcare workers of color were more than twice as likely as their white counterparts,’ to test positive for the coronavirus,” Forbes reported Jan. 3.

On the world scene, there is also vaccine refusal: “We are also starting a lawsuit to bring a really large group of doctors and a really large group of nurses because we have contact with 87,000 nurses that do (not) want the vaccine that is being prepared for us. They are not willing to be the guinea pigs,” declared Dr. Elke De Klerk from the Netherlands during a recent hearing of the country’s Covid-19 Extra pulmonary Inquiry committee, reported the International Business Times.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Covid-19 cases were still rising in many parts of the U.S., with more than 1.2 million new cases reported in the last week of December, and 342,000 deaths in 2020. The agency projected 80,000 more deaths in January.

“Don’t rush to do anything …. . Some of the things that we thought we knew a month ago are changing, and we’re not clear on what are the next steps,” Dr. Reuben Warren, director of the Tuskegee University National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care, urged Blacks. “For example, that the vaccine can still control the new mutation, that’s evolving. It may be true, it may not be true, but we can’t possibly know it at this point and time, so the rush to do anything, I think, is unwise,” Dr. Warren told The Final Call.

Deborah Birx

The surge and projected increases mean two things for Blacks:  The science that undergirds the epidemiology or study of the pattern of the virus is still evolving, according to Dr. Warren.

In addition to the UK, there’s a new mutation in South Africa and Nigeria, which has also surfaced in the U.S., in Colorado, Florida, and California, he said.

Secondly, he said, Blacks must be more thoughtful about how they respond. “What has not changed is the preventive strategy of wearing the masks, of physical distancing, and of washing your hands repeatedly, and not gathering in large public places, regardless,” stated Dr. Warren. 

Stay informed about what’s happening from various sources, and seek accurate and correct information from trustworthy, principled sources, he said.

President-Elect Joe Biden has said he plans to use the Defense Production Act and private industry to accelerate vaccine manufacturing and distribution. Part of that includes sending mobile units to hard to reach communities, and a massive public education campaign to increase vaccine acceptance.

The government is already waging a $115 million media campaign to convince Blacks and Hispanics to accept the vaccine and enroll in clinical trials.

Joe Biden

“The question for Black people in America is, will you obey Allah (God) or will you follow Satan? God speaks to His people through a man. Read your Bible and your Holy Qur’an. He is speaking to us today through the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan,” stated Student Minister Ava Muhammad, national spokesperson for Minister Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.

“I say to my brothers and sisters in Africa if they come up with a vaccine be careful. Don’t let them vaccinate you with their history of treachery through vaccines, through medication. Are you listening? I say to the African presidents do not take their medications. I say to those of us in America we need to call a meeting of our skilled virologists, epidemiologists, students of biology and chemistry and we need to look at not only what they give us, we need to give ourselves something better,” warned Minister Farrakhan, during “The Criterion,” his July 4, 2020 message, delivered live from Michigan.

“We can never be safe living in White America in her current configuration. Again, the overarching goal, the plan is the depopulation of this country and the Earth of the indigenous people. Safety can only be achieved by physical, mental, emotional and spiritual distancing from the children of our slave masters,” continued Minister Muhammad, who is also an attorney.

“While the campaign to convince us to take this experimental vaccine intensifies, plans are underway to force us to do so. Why are Black people and the American people in general being pressured to take an experimental vaccine that is already causing serious side effects in some persons, when the survival rate for ages 0-69 is 99.82 percent and the survival rate age 70+ is 94.6 percent?”

Memorial Hospital registered nurse Steve Menchaca, right, and Emily Rentquiano tend to a patient in the COVID-19 intensive care unit on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020, in Bakersfield, Calif. (Alex Horvath/Bakersfield Californian via AP)

“If the vaccines are safe, why did the vaccine manufacturers secure protection from liability before most of us ever heard of Covid-19? And where is the effectiveness? No manufacturer claims they can cure the disease or prevent it. They are designed only to reduce symptoms and keep people out of the hospital. and there is incompetence and resistance being manifested in the delivery of the vaccine,” she said.

She cited a report from the online financial and business site “The task of delivering shots that could end a pandemic that has killed 341,000 U.S. residents is taking a largely private medical system designed to maximize profit rather than deliver public health.” 

In addition, the Wall Street Journal reported on January 2, 2021 that more “nursing homes are getting the Covid-19 vaccine but a recent survey found nearly 72 percent of certified nursing assistants don’t want to be vaccinated.”

Approximately 60 percent of frontline workers in Ohio’s nursing homes declined the vaccine, said Gov. Mike DeWine in a Dec. 30 press briefing. The state wasn’t forcing people to take it, but wished they would, he said.  

The recent arrest of a pharmacist at Aurora Medical Center in Grafton, Wisc., who police said spoiled approximately 570 doses of Moderna’s vaccine, has also added to insecurities about the vaccine. Police said his motive was unknown but he faces charges for knowingly leaving vaccines unrefrigerated on Dec. 26.

According to the Los Angeles Times, fewer than half of the 700 eligible hospital workers at St. Elizabeth Community Hospital in Tehama County were willing to take the shot; one in five frontline nurses and doctors declined it at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, as well as roughly 20 to 40 percent of L.A. County’s frontline workers. An estimated 50 percent of frontline workers in Riverside County have refused the vaccine.

Health care professionals claimed recently that Covid-19 is the leading cause of death in the U.S., particularly among those aged 35 years or older, but not so, argued health analysts.

Dr. Joseph Mercola, author and pioneer in natural health, reported that research shows that anywhere from 250,000 to 440,000 Americans die each year from preventable medical errors, far more than Covid-19, especially if those with comorbidities are excluded. 

While unrecognized, medical errors have for many years been the third leading cause of death, posted Dr. Mercola on 

“Many who died from Covid-19 were victims of medical error. As of May 2020, 42 percent of all Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. had also occurred in nursing homes, primarily in states where governors had forced long-term care facilities to accept infected patients, which is yet another mistake,” he continued.

“Dr. Deborah Birx and state health officials confirmed that persons who test positive for the virus but die from other causes are counted as a covid death, including but not limited to automobile accidents, gunshot wounds, drowning, dementia and alcohol poisoning. We need to research the projected increase in cases as well as deaths,” stated Min. Ava Muhammad.

“CDC groups pneumonia, influenza and covid under the heading PIC, and counts them as covid cases. As other nations, such as China, move beyond the virus, many were never severely impacted, the United States continues to silence the cry for access to the multitude of natural, effective and safe treatments and therapies available,” she said.

Dr. Warren feels evidence is lacking that the Covid-19 vaccine will stop the crisis. It doesn’t prevent the disease, but minimizes its impact, and there’s still too much that’s unknown, he said. 

“The vaccine is not proven, at least the ones that I’ve read about, have not shown evidence that it doesn’t prevent infections. In other words, you can get the vaccine and possibly still infect somebody else, so it’s not a cure-all,” said Dr. Warren.

“There’s still a lot to learn, and I think we’ve got to be clear about what we know and what we don’t know. We hear a lot about what we know, but we don’t hear enough about what we don’t know,” he continued.

According to Elizabeth Mumper, M.D., a pediatrician and president and CEO of the Rimland Center and Children’s Health Defense Scientific Advisory Committee member, the coronavirus vaccines have had large numbers of adverse events in their trials: serious health and neurological issues, and at least one death. 

The vaccines have clinical trials deliberately designed to succeed with vaccine candidates receiving approval after just 150 individuals out of 15,000 (one percent of the test group) experience milder symptoms of covid and are not being tested to prevent person-to-person transmission, continued Dr. Mumper.

During his Dec. 12 address, Minister Farrakhan said Blacks can utilize some of the 14 therapies used in the world to treat  Covid-19, such as Vitamin D.

Cheryl Holder, M.D., president of the Florida State Medical Association, which is the National Medical Association affiliate in Florida, agreed regarding Vitamin D, which she noted is linked to diabetes. She suggested Blacks get their levels checked and eat foods that increase their antioxidants (such as Vitamin C or E) and improve their ability to be well and fight off infection and lose weight.

She said she’s awaiting the studies, but said scientists are looking at melatonin and nasal sprays to help combat the virus.

“There are things that are coming, because if we had good treatment, then you probably wouldn’t need to spend all this money on vaccines either,” said Dr. Holder, who has taken the shot.

“Eating properly is not a simple thing. That comes down to the years of oppression. It’s not easy to go out and eat properly, if you have no money, and you live in a food desert. I mean, why we’re so vulnerable comes from 400 plus years of oppression,” stated Dr. Holder.

She is pro-vaccine but disagrees with criticizing people who express concerns and labeling them as “anti-vaxxers.”

These are justified concerns ignored by health officials and medical experts, she added.

“I was listening to a program and the person made it seem like you’re being an idiot if you just don’t jump and take the vaccine. And I’m like, that’s not correct,” said Dr. Holder.