Dear: Northwestern Medicine
In regards to your "COVID-19 Prevention Trial Study" and the participation of African-American Chicagoans relative to African-Americans dying at higher rates of COVID-19 due to decades of healthcare disparities as it relates to racism and health-insecurity neighborhoods, I have a few concerns...
I'm sure your very fine doctors and research scientists understand the apathy and distrust of the African-American community in Chicago and nationwide relative to medical studies in general.
I need not bring up the very recent Tuskegee Institute (UNTREATED) Syphilis Study that involved hundreds of African-Americans, lasting from 1932 to 1972, only a few years before I was born. The study was supposed to be for 6 months, but went on for 40 years! The African-American men in that study were never given adequate treatment for their disease i.e. syphilis, even when penicillin became the drug of choice for syphilis in 1947.
Before you all ask African-Americans to participate in your COVID-19 study, I have a few questions:
1. How long is the study?
2. Are participants paid?
3. What are the side effects of the study?
4. Is there a risk to ratio relative to death?
5. Are participants given any form of Coronavirus?
6. Is the study done at home, at the hospital, or both?
7. Do participants have to quarantine during or after the study?
Again, I fully understand the importance of African-Americans participating in your COVID-19 Prevention Trails/Study. I also understand African-Americans have a higher risk of dying from COVID-19 due to institutional racism in healthcare, healthcare-insecurities, and comorbidities; however, billions of dollars have been poured into COVID-19 Prevention Trials/Studies which in my business-mind should equate to some type of compensation for participants...especially seeing that said participants are giving their time and bodies to such a study.
Those who want to volunteer, fine, but I doubt African-Americans (in large numbers) are going to freely do such a thing seeing that there's really no utility in sacrificing so much. Some will, most won't. We must face the business side of medicine whether it's a study or not. Thank you.
Sincerely, Min. Jim Allen