A doctor the nation’s leading infectious disease expert attempted to showcase in public to encourage African American citizens to get the vaccine, suggested the coronavirus pandemic was a ‘genocide’ against black people earlier in the outbreak.
Dr. Anthony Fauci attempted to reassure black Americans who may be hesitant to take the COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday by highlighting the fact a prominent black doctor who was involved in its development.
But Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett or ‘Kizzy’ as she prefers to be known on social media, who is the National Institute of Health’s lead scientist for coronavirus vaccine research, is also the same doctor who earlier in the outbreak tweeted wild conspiracy theories.
Dr Anthony Fauci is attempting to encourage African-Americans to get the COVID vaccine and highlighted a black doctor’s involvement in its creation
Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, left, senior research fellow and scientific lead for coronavirus vaccines talks with President Donald Trump as he tours the Viral Pathogenesis Laboratory at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Pictured in March 2020
Dr Kizzmekia Corbett, an NIH immunologist who worked with the government to develop a vaccine for the contagious virus, suggested in a post in April the coronavirus pandemic could be a ‘genocide’ against black people
Dr. ‘Kizzy’ Corbett was accused of writing controversial tweets about the COVID-19 pandemic -including this one shared in April
Dr Corbett also theorized that the Task Force were ‘indebted to serve Trump, NOT the people’
Aside from suggesting the disease was a ‘genocide’ against black people, in a separate tweet, Dr. Corbett also implied that doctors would overlook black Americans if ventilators are in short supply, which could cause them to die.
Corbett has been a part of the team who worked with biotechnology company Moderna on one of the two mRNA vaccines that is expected to receive authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration later this month.
Her unprofessional social media posts about government work were publicized on Fox News in April. Soon afterwards, Dr Corbett switched her account to private, although is has now been made public once again.
In tweets Dr Corbett appeared contemptuous of the White House Coronavirus Task force and suggested that it was ‘largely people (white men) Trump appointed to their positions as directors of blah blah institute’.
Dr Kizzmekia Corbett has posted several controversial tweets on her social media account dating back to February of this year, however she was heavily involved in the development of a vaccine
Dr Corbett, who is only 34 years old, has been described as a ‘superstar scientist’
Dr Corbett’s Twitter page ended up going private after her account was publicized by Fox News in April, although it is now public once again
She theorized that they were ‘indebted to serve Trump, NOT the people’.
When she received pushback on her post, the immunologist insisted she wasn’t dismissing white men, but rather the ‘system that they curated’.
Corbett, who is only 34 years old, has been described as a ‘superstar scientist’.
She has appeared on CNN and was praised by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris for ‘leading the charge’ in developing a coronavirus vaccine.
‘The world owes you and your team a debt of gratitude,’ Harris cooed.
Kamala Harris cooed over the top immunologist in a Twitter post from the spring
Dr Corbett has appeared on CNN and was praised by then California Senator Kamala Harris for ‘leading the charge’ in developing a coronavirus vaccine
On Tuesday Dr. Fauci spoke at an event hosted by the National Urban League.
He said it was important to acknowledge the US history of racism in medical research and understood how it has fostered mistrust among some black people.
But Fauci also stressed the Covid-19 vaccines were both safe and effective emphasizing African American scientists had been involved in their creation.
‘The very vaccine that’s one of the two that has absolutely exquisite levels — 94 to 95% efficacy against clinical disease and almost 100% efficacy against serious disease that are shown to be clearly safe — that vaccine was actually developed in my institute’s vaccine research center by a team of scientists led by Dr. Barney Graham and his close colleague, Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, or Kizzy Corbett,’ Fauci said.
‘So, the first thing you might want to say to my African American brothers and sisters is that the vaccine that you’re going to be taking was developed by an African American woman,’ Fauci added. ‘And that is just a fact.’
With her Twitter account now public once again, the doctor tweeted her involvement in the development of the COVID vaccine
Black Americans and other ethnic minorities have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19 so experts are taking it upon themselves to try to build confidence in the vaccine.
A study released by the COVID Collaborative, the NAACP and UnidosUS found that only 14% of black Americans trust that a vaccine will be safe and 18% trust it will be effective.
Corbett told CNN that she sees vaccine hesitancy in black communities regularly and notes rebuilding trust in medical institutions will take time.
‘I would say to people who are vaccine-hesitant that you’ve earned the right to ask the questions that you have around these vaccines and this vaccine development process,’ she says in an upcoming episode of the CNN podcast ‘Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction.’
Aside from the controversial tweets, Corbett was outspoken on the role systemic racism has played in the pandemic criticized the Trump administration for the lack of diversity on the coronavirus task force.
‘Trust, especially when it has been stripped from people, has to be rebuilt in a brick-by-brick fashion and so, what I say to people firstly is that I empathize, and then secondly is that I’m going to do my part in laying those bricks. And I think that if everyone on our side, as physicians and scientists, went about it that way, then the trust would start to be rebuilt.’