The Daily Beast

Black Doctors Try and Get Through to Vaccine Resistors

Joel Saget/AFP via Getty

It was a Saturday morning at a Black barber shop when a conversation between two strangers waiting for cuts shook Wayne Riley so much that he “almost jumped out of the barber’s seat” in the middle of his hair cut.

“Oh we can’t get that Chinese shit,” one man says to another, shortly after the arrival of the coronavirus in New York had been announced.

Dr Riley, the first African American president of the board of the 170-year-old New York Academy of Medicine and the president of Brooklyn’s Downstate Medical Center, couldn’t resist throwing himself into the conversation, knowing from early reports from China that COVID-19 was hard-hitting for people with hypertension, diabetes, obesity and lung problems.

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