As COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues circulating across the country, the myths surrounding it are beginning to shed.

No longer is it known as an illness for just elderly, immunocompromised people. More and more young, relatively healthy people are being diagnosed positive with no “flattening of the curve” in sight. The virus is moving through vulnerable Black communities and among incarcerated people from Rikers Island to Sing Sing, with no rational leadership from the Trump Administration.

As data begins to accumulate, forming a clearer picture of COVID-19’s impact, reports show that health professionals are concerned that Black communities may not have equitable access to tests and treatment, primarily because Black communities in the United States are more vulnerable due to racial, wealth, and healthcare discrimination.

In the above video, Health Equity Cypher, an organization combatting institutional racism and classism through public health equity, policy, clinical and leadership strategies, discusses what we should demand from our elected officials and ways to stay safe and connected during this pandemic.

“While we are physically distancing and staying socially connected, this Cypher conversation is critical and will continue to bring information Black folks need during this crisis,” Joia Crear Perry, MD, FACOG, principal of Health Equity Cypher, and founder and president of National Birth Equity, tells ESSENCE.

Other members of the Cypher featured in the above video include: Shavon Arline-Bradley, minister principal of Health Equity Cypher and president of REACH Beyond Solutions; Anton J Gunn, principal of Health Equity Cypher and Healthcare Consultant Collaborative; and L. Toni Lewis, MD, principal of Health Equity Cypher, president of Liberation Health Strategies.


ESSENCE is committed to bringing our audience the latest facts about COVID-19 (coronavirus). Our content team is closely monitoring the developing details surrounding the virus via official sources and health care experts, including the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Please continue to refresh ESSENCE‚Äôs informational hub for updates on COVID-19, as well as for tips on taking care of yourselves, your families and your communities.