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Take COVID-19 Testing Into Vulnerable Communities, Says Howard U President Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick

Health authorities need to take COVID-19 testing into vulnerable communities as data reveals that communities of color have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic, said Howard University president, Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick, to National Public Radio.

Frederick, a cancer surgeon who continues to practice medicine, said that drive-through testing sites may not be a practical solution for low-income communities where many people don’t have a car.

Dr. Wayne FrederickDr. Wayne Frederick

“And so that is not a practical solution as opposed to get a few mobile vans that can actually take the testing into the community, may be more effective in getting a larger number of people tested over a shorter period of time,” said Frederick.

He also said that, as part of the next stimulus package, the government must “really stand up and empower community partnerships in those most vulnerable populations.”

When asked what it was like to shut down the Howard campus as the coronavirus spread,  Frederick said it was “a very difficult decision to make.”

“It’s a big upheaval to do that, and so we’ve stood up a lot of online counseling services, et cetera. And it’s very unusual if not eerie to go to campus as I do daily,” he said.

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