Representative Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) and former MLB king Hank Aaron both received the coronavirus vaccine shot Tuesday.
The longtime educator, who was sworn in on Jan. 3, posted several videos on his personal Twitter account and that of the House of Representatives talking about the virus and the history of black Americans and the US medical industry.
Watch as Rep. Jamaal Bowman receives his COVID-19 vaccine and shares its importance to color communities pic.twitter.com/xcxmB4ftxK
– NowThis (@nowthisnews) January 6, 2021
"You know, when we go to the doctor as blacks, we bring all this history and the history of systematic racism with us," Bowman said in his video. "You see, when we look at the coronavirus, the story goes … how we are more likely to catch it, more likely to be hospitalized and more likely to die from it. This is because of the comorbidities that are in the Black community exist due to systemic racism, "Bowman said in the video.
After Bowman received the shot, he was surprised that the shot didn't hurt.
"I thought it would hurt too, but that wasn't really bad," Bowman said. "Please get vaccinated, we have to defeat this virus."
Bowman admitted he was skeptical about taking the vaccine but said that black Americans and minorities should overcome their fears.
"Unfortunately, like too many people, I don't see a doctor enough, and there is a reason for that," he said. “There is historical distrust of the medical community, and the African American community in particular. Much of that suspicion has invaded me … it's a documented story, from Henrietta Lacks to the Tuskegee experiment to the forced sterilization of maternal morbidity and infant mortality to the current comorbidities that cause African Americans to be disproportionately affected by COVID. "
Baseball legend Hank Aaron, who has completed 755 home races in his 21-year career, also received his first dose Tuesday, hoping the shot will encourage others to do the same.
I was proud to have received the COVID-19 vaccine today at Morehouse School of Medicine. I hope you do the same! https://t.co/RAlkmkCRra
– Hank Aaron (@HenryLouisAaron) January 5, 2021
"(When I get vaccinated) I feel wonderful," Aaron told The Associated Press. "I have no concerns at all, you know. I'm quite proud of myself for doing something like this. … It's just a small thing that can help millions of people in this country."
Bowman and Aaron join Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and MP Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY) as minorities who took the vaccine on television. With the new, contagious strain now available in several US states, the vaccine is needed more than ever, but adoption in the US has been slow.