Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan calls COVID-19 vaccine ‘toxic waste’
"How could you allow him to stick a needle into you?," Farrakhan recently asked followers.
Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan is warning followers not to take a COVID-19 vaccine, calling the immunization against the coronavirus "toxic waste" intended to harm the black community.
"We are so frightened over this Covid, now they’re getting us ready for this vaccine," Farrakhan said Saturday at a virtual event for the National Afrikan-Black Leadership Summit.
"How could you allow him to stick a needle into you, saying he’s helping you?," the 87-year-old Farrakhan, also said in his 70-minute speech, according to the Daily Caller.
Black Americans are skeptical of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to a recent poll.
“Black Americans continue to stand out as less inclined to get vaccinated than other racial and ethnic groups: 42% would do so, compared with 63% of Hispanic and 61% of White adults,” the Pew Research survey released last week found. “English-speaking Asian Americans are even more likely to say they would definitely or probably get vaccinated (83%).
The Trump administration’s vaccine czar, Moncef Slaoui, addressed skepticism in the black community, saying “Nobody’s being used as a guinea pig.”
CNN’s “State of the Union,” host Jake Tapper recently mentioned the poll, then said, “I want you to take a listen to 52-year-old Carmen Bailey from Cleveland, Ohio,” before playing a clip.
“To me, it’s too early. We don’t know any kind of side effects from them. So, I just really feel like, at this point, we’re – people that’s going to take that vaccine is guinea pigs,” Bailey said.
“Now, this doesn’t — this kind of skepticism doesn’t occur in a vacuum,” Tapper said to Slaoui. “The U.S. has an ugly, racist history when it comes to science and medicine and black Americans. How specifically does Operation Warp Speed intend to address this skepticism, especially the disproportionate skepticism in the black community?”
Farrakhan's comments came a day before Pfizer Pharmaceuticals started to ship millions of doses of vaccine to health facilities across the U.S. The first shots were administered to health care workers on Monday.
Sandra Lindsay, a critical care nurse from Queens, New York, who is black, was the first to get the shot, became the face of the country’s first coronavirus vaccinations Monday.
Surgeon General Jerome Adams, who is also black, called for a program aimed at alleviating fears in minority communities about vaccines.
“We know that lack of trust is a major cause for reluctance, especially in communities of color,” Adams, who is black, said at a press conference on Monday, according to The Hill.