2 HBCU presidents joined Covid-19 vaccine trials to encourage participation, but past racist experiments haunt such efforts

September 18, CNN, Dakin Andone – When the presidents of two historically Black colleges announced they were participating in a Covid-19 vaccine trial, they hoped to encourage other African Americans to do the same to ensure that an eventual vaccine has been tested on — and is effective for — people of color. Instead, they’ve been met with widespread skepticism from people who point to the United States’ history of unethical medical experiments on Black people. Presidents Walter Kimbrough of Dillard University and Reynold Verret of Xavier University sent letters to their university communities earlier this month saying they decided to participate in a Phase 3 trial of a vaccine in development by Pfizer. View Story.

CDC reverses course on testing for asymptomatic people who had Covid-19 contact

September 18, 2020, Politico, David Lim – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now says that close contacts of people with Covid-19 should be tested, regardless of whether they have symptoms — reversing controversial recommendations it made last month, reportedly over the advice of agency scientists. CDC’s testing guidelines now bluntly counsel people who have been within six feet of a person “with documented SARS-CoV-2 infection” for at least 15 minutes to get screened. “You need a test,” reads the latest version of the document, released Friday. View Story.

'Not out of the woods yet': Health officials urge vigilance as coronavirus cases drop

September 17, 2020, The Clarion Ledger, Justin Vicory – The state’s top health officials asked the public to remain vigilant in the fight against the coronavirus — even as cases trend downward — and dispelled misconceptions that still exist about the new virus during a public forum Tuesday. State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs and Epidemiologist Paul Byers discussed a wide range of questions from the public about the virus and what the future holds heading into the fall and winter months.  The two answered several questions during the Facebook Live video, such as the effectiveness of facial masks, testing protocols and when a vaccine might be available. View Story.

Mayor Lumumba concerned about State Fair, says it puts city in ‘uniquely dangerous position’

September 17, 2020, WLBT, Magee Wade – Mayor Lumumba has worked with his coronavirus task force to monitor cases of COVID-19 in making decisions on executive orders.Mayor Lumumba said, “I certainly will extend it. Whether there may be some modification to it is another question, and I have to talk with our city attorney and, you know, just reach out to a few more experts that we depend on in the process.”With the State Fair set to begin in a little over two weeks, Mayor Lumumba is concerned. “I don’t fully know what our response will be but that I want all of our residents to be concerned and vigilent about is that there appears to be the making of the fair still coming to Jackson. That puts us in a uniquely dangerous position.” View Story.

Housing, basic needs challenges continue amid COVID-19

September 17, 2020, Daily Journal, Danny McArthur – The Tupelo Homeless Task Force is working through housing challenges caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.Between March and August, Jackson-based nonprofit Mississippi United to End Homelessness (MUTEH) housed 21 people in the Tupelo area, Tupelo Homeless Task Force chair Hannah Maharrey said during a Sept. 17 task force meeting. MUTEH currently has eight in the housing search, two of whom are COVID-related, said MUTEH Northeast Mississippi Coordinator Sara Ekiss.Despite these efforts, Ekiss said Tupelo has seen a spike in homelessness since the start of the pandemic. View Story.

© 2016 Mississippi Health Advocacy Program