CLEVELAND, OH - The life and death battle to find a cure for COVID-19 is serious.
Getting African Americans to participate in medical research is not as easy as one might think.
Cleveland Councilman Kevin Conwell, of the 9th Ward, is ready to change that narrative.
“A lot of African-Americans are not signing up for the trial research,” he said. “I know that. I hear and I see it nationally - it’s not happening. We need to know. How is this going to affect African Americans?”
Conwell, the city’s councilman for the Glenville neighborhood on Cleveland’s East Side, is haunted by that question posed to him by doctors at the Cleveland Clinic.
Last Friday, he decided to accept their request and now he is volunteering to put his life on the line - so to speak - for the betterment of others.
The councilman has joined the ranks of a few good men and women who are now participating in research to find a vaccine to help battle against COVID-19.
The Cleveland Clinic is leading the way with studies and research designed to advance the medical knowledge needed to find a cure for this dreaded disease.
Conwell believes that he is an ideal candidate for this research because he is both African-American, and he is also a cancer survivor.
“My immune system is compromised... so I have seen it all,” he said. “Look, I just want to lead by an example. [If] I can do it anyone can.”
Although Conwell said he is somewhat frighten by the possibilities of what the long term effects of this research will be, he is willing to move forward because in his words, “it will save lives.”