NEW ORLEANS, La. (WGNO)- The numbers are decreasing. New Orleans officials are reporting fewer deaths and cases, giving doctors a chance to start thinking about the future.
In fact one local doctor is working on a new initiative, focusing on the disproportionate affects to the African American community due to Covid-19.
Each day that goes by we are hopeful that we are one day closer to finding a vaccine but, until that day, doctors are doing what they can to help educate the impacted communities.
“So, we started this initiative called, the Skin You’re In: Coronavirus and Black America. The purpose is to provide authoritative, accurate information on Covid-19 to African Americans, so that there is a counter balance to the fake and false and information,” said Dr. Thomas LaVeist, Tulane’s Dean of Public Health.
Dispelling the myths and rumors, Dr. LaVeist is making sure that the African American Communities are aware of what’s going on.
“Early on, we discovered that earliest numbers were showing about 70% of the deaths were African American, where about 32% of the state’s population is African American. So, it was a mystery why is that happening,” explained Dr. LaVeist. “It became clear that we needed to figure out what needed to be done first. What really is the diagnoses and we think it’s really matter of who is exposed and who is holding occupations that put them at greater risk of exposure.”
Recently Dr. LaVeist was appointed Co-Chair on Governor John Bel Edwards’ Health Equity Task Force.
“The way we have divided our work is into three phases. One phase, is what can we do right now while we are still in the middle of this crisis? What can we do to make things better in real time? The next phase is, when we come out of this pandemic how do we insure we are better than we were when we went into the pandemic? And then, the last phase is look back. To look back on what we did and take an assessment on what we did right, what we did wrong what we could do better the next time because there will be additional disease outbreaks.”
Dr. LaVeist is hopeful that his initiative will reach the New Orleans African American Community now, before future pandemics.