In fall 2020, I reported a story about two HBCU presidents in New Orleans who were subject to a huge backlash after suggesting to members of their communities that they enroll in a Covid-19 vaccine clinical trial. While surprising to some, the incident was emblematic of a legacy of medical mistrust in the Black community borne from a troubling history of racism and inequity in medicine.
For this first episode of “Color Code,” a new STAT podcast, we take a look at this important issue of mistrust and its impacts today. Many people are familiar with the infamous Tuskegee syphilis experiment, a 40-year study in which Black men with syphilis were not offered treatment for the disease despite it becoming widely available during the time. As this episode explains, this tragedy is just one example out of many, many more.