OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Former NFL star and Oakland native Marshawn Lynch is addressing the hesitancy among members of Black and Hispanic communities about getting a COVID vaccine through an interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Lynch posted the interview he conducted with the Biden administration’s chief medical advisor and the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on his YouTube page Friday.READ MORE: East Bay Homebuyers Pay $200-400K Over Asking As Home Prices Soar To Record Levels
Research from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows 52% of Black Americans said they would “wait and see” before signing up for a vaccination, with 20% saying they would get the shot as soon as possible.
The former Oakland Raider and Seattle Seahawk began the interview in his signature style.
“Pleasure to meet the Dr. Faucheezy himself, ya understand me? What’s happenin’ big dawg?”
Fauci said because of Lynch’s popularity not just among African Americans but among the general population, he hoped the conversation between the two would help convince more people to get vaccinated when it’s their turn.
“We’re trying to get as many people vaccinated against this COVID-19 because this has been a really horrible year for the entire country. We’ve had over 550,00 people die disproportionately more African-American and Hispanics than Whites, said Fauci. “They get more severe disease, they get more hospitalizations and more deaths. So what we want to do is to see if we can convince as many people as possible when the vaccine is available to them to get vaccinated.”
Lynch said he was among those who wanted to learn more about the vaccine besides just being told that it’s safe to take, and pointed to the historical treatment of the communities of color that has played a part in the reluctance to getting vaccinated.
“When it comes to, like, vaccinations and government … the government giving back to communities of people that look like me, we don’t seem to be on the well-received end of those situations,” said Lynch. “Anytime we’ve been told that we was gonna be in position to have something, you know, gave to us or put into our community to help us it seems to turn out very bad for us.”READ MORE: Piedmont School District Apologizes for Offering 'White Student Support Group' After Chauvin Verdict
Lynch went on, asking Fauci, “You don’t mind if I be myself, right?
After Fauci assured him he had no problem speaking frankly, Lynch added what many people of color are thinking.
“It’s a chance that I can, you know, come out of the situation more f—-d up than I went into it, rather than taking my chances and rolling the dice by not getting [ther vaccine] and going through the sickness … ”
“I totally respect the reluctance that African Americans have on things like this,” said Fauci. “You’re absolutely right the history of how the federal government, going back decades, particularly in the area of medical issues, how they’ve treated African Americans has not been something to be proud of.”
Lynch asked whether vaccine efficacies for African Americans and Hispanics were the same as for Whites.
“When we tested the vaccine in African Americans and Hispanics it was safe … was literally identical to the response in whites … as safe and as effective.”
The two agreed that more outreach is required for communities of color to educate about the vaccine and the virus, and Lynch invited Fauci to visit Oakland where Lynch would personally give him the VIP treatment and tour.
“I hope that if I come out to Oakland I hope maybe you and I can go one-on-one on the basketball court,” said Fauci.
“I wouldn’t even want to press my luck,” said Lynch. “Because you look like you a little quick dude, like you gonna get out there and hit me with an Allen Iverson crossover or something, man.”MORE NEWS: Miles Hall Shooting: No Charges Against Walnut Creek Police Officers In 2019 Killing