OAKLAND, CA – The Black Church PAC has urged the presidents of Dillard University and Xavier University of Louisiana, both historically Black colleges, to refrain from offering their students up as guinea pigs for controversial and untested coronavirus vaccine trials. Given the Black community’s troubling experience with the American medical system – experience that includes the dreadful and deadly Tuskegee Experiment, where scores of Black people were injected with Syphilis, forced sterilizations, and the harvesting of medical information without disclosure to victims or families, the faith-based advocacy organization warned that it is too soon to ask Black students to participate in the vaccine trials.
“With Black people being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, less likely to get tested and less likely to be taken seriously upon presentation at some doctors’ offices and hospitals, no leader should urge Black students to participate in COVID-19 trials at this time,” said Pastor Michael McBride, co-founder of the Black Church PAC and campaign director of the LIVE FREE campaign. “Students and their families are voicing concerns about being pressured to participate in such trials. Urging students to get the vaccine, at a time when many in the nation are questioning the safety and effectiveness of it, is traumatizing and puzzling.”
“The presidents of Dillard University and Xavier University of Louisiana should immediately disclose if they are being paid to urge students to participate in the trials and explain the underlying motivation for offering students up as lambs to be slaughtered,” said Pastor Jamal Bryant, co-founder of the Black Church PAC and pastor of New Birth Church in Atlanta, GA. “As a leader of a Historically Black College and University, the chief constituency these leaders should be serving is students; this latest stunt calls into question their loyalty and motives.”
The Bioethics Commission also noted: “We “cannot allow our children to be an instrument of anyone inadvertently or intentionally misdirecting and politicizing the research on COVID-19 for their political interest. Listen to the scientists, medical and public health professionals who have warned against those who rush to experimentation without appropriate controls.”