During a conversation with Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley as part of ATTN:’s Roll Up Your Sleeves primetime special Sunday night on NBC, former President Barack Obama directly addressed vaccine hesitancy in the Black community—after ribbing the ex-NBA stars about golf and gambling.
Barkley, who said he “cannot wait” to receive his second COVID-19 vaccine dose, explained to Obama that he is telling his friends to “forget what happened back in the day,” urging “every Black person” to “please go out and get vaccinated.”
Later, Obama picked up on what Barkley was alluding to by explicitly raising the Tuskegee experiment. “The irony is that when you know about the Tuskegee experiment, what was going on there was the government withheld treatment that was available for Black men for syphilis,” he said, adding that in the case of the COVID-19 vaccine, “if the medicine is available, we need to take it.” On top of that, Obama said, “If the wealthy and powerful in our society are all lining up to get shots, that means everybody should know it’s a good thing to get.”
SOURCE: The Daily Beast – Matt Wilstein