Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan advised his followers against coronavirus vaccination in a speech Saturday, calling the breakthrough vaccine “toxic waste” that would harm the black community.
Farrakhan, 87, also sprinkled several anti-white pejoratives throughout his 70-minute speech, referring to white people as “crackers” and “devils.”
“We are so frightened over this Covid, now they’re getting us ready for this vaccine,” Farrakhan said at a virtual event for the National Afrikan/Black Leadership Summit.
“How could you allow him to stick a needle into you, saying he’s helping you?”
Farrakhan’s diatribe came a day before Pfizer began shipping millions of doses of its coronavirus vaccine to health facilities across the country. The first shots were administered to health care workers on Monday.
Health experts have expressed concerns that members of minority groups, who have tended to be at higher risk of serious illness from coronavirus, will avoid taking the vaccine due to distrust of the medical profession and the government.
Surgeon General Jerome Adams on Monday called for a program aimed at alleviating fears in minority communities about vaccines.
“We know that lack of trust is a major cause for reluctance, especially in communities of color,” Adams, who is black, said at a press conference on Monday, according to The Hill.
“And that lack of trust is not without good reason, as the Tuskegee studies occurred in our lifetimes.”
Adams was referring to the Tuskegee syphilis studies, a U.S. government research program that ran from the 1930s through the 1970s in which scientists studying the effects of untreated syphilis in African-American men withheld treatments for the disease from study participants.
According to a poll released by Pew Research on Dec. 3, just 42% of black Americans plan to get the coronavirus vaccine, compared to 61% of whites and 83% of Asians.
The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency authorization on Friday to distribute the Pfizer vaccine. Clinical trials found that the vaccine prevented illness from coronavirus in more than 95% of test patients. Pfizer also said that there were no serious side effects in patients during the trials.
Farrakhan dismissed the research findings, and urged his followers who work in health care to reject the vaccine.
“Those of you who are health professionals, they want you to take it first,” he said.
“You notice they’re offering you money now? This devil…offers you $1,000 or $1,500 to take a shot. They give you free shots of toxic waste.”
Farrakhan appeared to be referring to a proposal from former Democratic presidential candidate John Delany to pay people $1,500 to get vaccinated.
Farrakhan referred to white people as “devils” earlier in his remarks.
In his speech, Farrakhan mocked proposals to require children to receive vaccines in order to return to school.
“What a blessing,” Farrakhan said.
“Tell the cracker: I ain’t coming to your school,” he added, using a common anti-white pejorative.
Farrakhan, a longtime vaccine skeptic, advised his supporters against vaccination for coronavirus during a speech on July 4. He said the vaccine was part of a plot orchestrated by Anthony Fauci and Bill Gates to “depopulate the earth.”
During his speech Saturday Farrakhan said that YouTube had removed video of his anti-vaccine remarks from the July 4 event.
Correction: The original version of this article inaccurately characterized the Tuskegee research program. Researchers failed to provide known treatments to African-American syphilis to participants in the study.
Author : Chuck Ross