CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Former President Franklin Roosevelt said, “all we have to fear is fear itself.”
That seems especially true for many in the Black community as it faces the specter of the deadly COVID-19.
Despite that, there continues to be a push to get more Blacks to fear less and get the COVID 19-vaccine more.
So, role models are stepping up to get their shot in the arm and encourage others to do the same.
Among them is Dr. Charles Modlin of the Cleveland Clinic.
“I’ve been engaging the community for a number of years to promote to the community and educate the community about important health matters that going to improve their health outcomes.”
According to the CDC, Blacks die of COVID-19 at 34% but are only 12% of the population.
That’s three times higher than others.
“I’m actually hopeful because the national polls have shown an up tick in the numbers of Africans Americas who are willing to take the vaccine. Back in October/November, only about 40% were willing to take the vaccine. Now polls show that about 60% of African Americans are willing to take the vaccine.
It’s a personal decision that not only affects the individual but others as well.
Long-time Pastor of Greater Abyssinia Baptist Church Rev. E.T. Caviness is a leading voice for getting the shot.
“I think the tension, the anxiety, and the apprehension that goes along with COVID 19, it’s imperative that we take the vaccine. There’s a terrible fear that’s pervasive in the community.”
Rev. Caviness is encouraging people to have faith in the science that helps produce the vaccines currently being used.
He was among the first in Greater Cleveland to get the shot to lead the way to herd immunity.
“I’ve taken the two shots and I think it’s a good thing.”
Former President Donald Trump didn’t develop the vaccine, scientists did including Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, a viral immunologist from the National Institutes of Health.
Still, not everyone is completely on board yet.
“I’m still one of those individuals that’s still on the fence. I would like to say oh yes come on and do it or no, don’t do it. But, I’m doing some research on my own, some prayer on my own. Right now I just don’t know,” community activist Yvonne Pointer said.
She is among those still a bit skeptical.
That’s a real part of this story as to why she and others feel that way.
Despite the leadership on the quest to get everyone vaccinated, it’s very clear it’s a divisive issue.