Vaccine Hesitancy and Social Justice in a Time of COVID-19

Kelly McGuire // At left: an image of a lottery machine, half-filled with numbered balls. Housebound citizens watch anxiously on televisions, waiting for their birth date to be called, disappointment mounting as it becomes clear their vaccination will now be happening fairly late in the process. The lottery itself is overseen by a military official…

Hierarchies of Care in Quarantine

Sara Press // In early June, the New York City Department of Health confirmed that the first dog in the United States had tested positive for Covid-19.[1] Few details were known about the dog beyond his location, his breed, and his prognosis—it was believed he would recover. However, on July 11th, the details of this…

Understanding race in a pandemic

Sasheenie Moodley // Dr. Ebony Hilton explains that there is a painful intersection between the Covid-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests in the United States. That is, pandemic and protest are part of the same disease thread—racial prejudice and racial adversity. Dr. Ebony Hilton is an anesthesiologist and associate professor at the University…

Already Quarantined: Yes, the “Spanish” Flu was Racist Too

Salvador Herrera // After the outbreak of racialized violence against Asian communities across the world, President Donald Trump, his staff, and supporters maintained that calling the COVID-19 disease “the Chinese virus” is harmless and has nothing to do with race.[1] Their willful ignorance attributes the phrase to the supposed source of the virus. However, the…

The Photograph: Exposing the Hypocrisy of the Strong Black Woman Myth

Phyllisa Deroze // It is not that Black women have not been and are not strong; it is simply that this is only part of our story, a dimension, just as the suffering is another dimension one that had been most unnoticed and unattended to. bell hooks, Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black[1] Stella Meghie’s…

Attentional Avoidance: America’s “War” on COVID-19 and Narco-Terrorism

Salvador Herrera // In a White House press briefing on Wednesday, April 1st, 2020, the Trump administration and the Coronavirus Task Force announced their “enhanced counter-narcotics operations” under U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM).[1] Commander-in-Chief Donald Trump explained that these measures would include a doubling of USSOUTHCOM’s capabilities to surveil, disrupt, and seize drugs shipped overseas from…

How to Read a Medical Study in Black History Month

Sarah Berry // Bioethics and black history are intertwined in the U.S. In 1972, a news story broke about a four-decade medical experiment in rural Tuskegee, Alabama that studied the untreated effects of syphilis specifically in black males. This study, funded and administered by the federal government, made headline news and, after an investigation, spurred…

Skin Deep: Biometrics and Containment in Sabrina Vourvoulias’s INK

Salvador Herrera // On October 22nd, 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice proposed a rule titled “DNA-Sample Collection From Immigration Detainees.”[1] The rule would remove one Obama-era exception in the Code of Federal Regulations to the DNA Fingerprint Act of 2005: an exception that dismisses DNA collection as a requirement if institutional funds are limited.[2]…