Even though Black Americans are being hospitalized of COVID at 2.9x the rate of white Americans and are 1.5x more likely to die from the disease, they’re being vaccinated far less. According to the CDC, Black Americans have received just 5.4 percent of the administered COVID vaccine, while white Americans have received 60.4 percent of it. And in New York City, data revealed that more non-New York City residents were vaccinated than Black, Hispanic, and Native American New Yorkers combined.
“Well, well, well, if it isn’t my old archnemesis: racism,” said Trevor Noah. “This is crazy, people. According to the available data, New York has vaccinated more out-of-towners than minorities who actually live here in New York. I mean, they need to beef up the screening process. You know, like, before giving someone a shot, just ask them to walk six feet on a sidewalk, and if they stop and look up at a building to admire it, you send their ass back to Connecticut.”
The Daily Show host then pulled back, revealing how this issue is not just prevalent in New York City but the entire country.
“This isn’t just a New York problem—this is an America problem. Since Black people are getting sicker at a higher rate, they should be getting vaccinated at a higher rate, because they need it more. It’s the same reason you hand out free condoms on college campuses and not at LARPing camp,” he joked.
There are a number of reasons for the low vaccination rates among Black Americans, including income inequality, “pharmacy deserts” in many predominately Black communities, and distrust among Black communities toward the medical establishment, given their history of racist treatment at their hands, from the Tuskegee experiments, to harvesting Henrietta Lacks’ cells after her death for medical research without her family’s permission, to the belief that Black people have thicker skin and feel less pain—which still persists to this day.
“This is why so many Black people are suspicious of the medical community—because that community has betrayed them again, and again, and again,” explained Noah. “But unfortunately, this mistrust actually hurts Black people because these vaccines are safe. Believe me on this. White people would never let Martha Stewart get one if it was dangerous.”