Guinea Pig Element: City Leaders Plan Community Outreach To Overcome Vaccination Suspicion

From Brian Lockhart, CT Post

“Our community has had such a history when it comes to new things,” Sims said. “They always bring up the Tuskegee study.” Tuskegee Alabama is where, from the early 1930s to the early 1970s, the federal government used unsuspecting African American men to study syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease.

“So a lot of Black people don’t forget that,” said East End City Councilman Ernie Newton.

“I can’t even get my own mother to take it,” said Stanley Lord, president of the Greater Bridgeport NAACP. “She’s from that era of the Tuskegee issue.” He said he has also heard from other Black people worried “they’re not going to give us the right one.”

State Rep. Christopher Rosario, D-Bridgeport, recalled how Puerto Rican women were test subjects in the mid-1950s for oral contraception.

“Many were guinea pigs,” Rosario said.

Full story here.



  1. The fact that a BLACK WOMAN changed medicine forever is iconic and legendary. The world should know Henrietta Lacks’s name, she’s the mother of modern medicine. The sad part is everybody made money off of Henrietta Lacks except Henrietta Lacks and her family, why isn’t this American history is not being told.

    This is from Johns Hopkins Medicine

    “The Legacy of Henrietta Lacks”

    In 1951, a young mother of five named Henrietta Lacks visited The Johns Hopkins Hospital complaining of vaginal bleeding. Upon examination, renowned gynecologist Dr. Howard Jones discovered a large, malignant tumor on her cervix. At the time, The Johns Hopkins Hospital was one of only a few hospitals to treat poor African-Americans.

    As medical records show, Mrs. Lacks began undergoing radium treatments for her cervical cancer. This was the best medical treatment available at the time for this terrible disease. A sample of her cancer cells retrieved during a biopsy were sent to Dr. George Gey’s nearby tissue lab. For years, Dr. Gey, a prominent cancer and virus researcher, had been collecting cells from all patients who came to The Johns Hopkins Hospital with cervical cancer, but each sample quickly died in Dr. Gey’s lab. What he would soon discover was that Mrs. Lacks’ cells were unlike any of the others he had ever seen: where other cells would die, Mrs. Lacks’ cells doubled every 20 to 24 hours.

    Today, these incredible cells— nicknamed “HeLa” cells, from the first two letters of her first and last names — are used to study the effects of toxins, drugs, hormones and viruses on the growth of cancer cells without experimenting on humans. They have been used to test the effects of radiation and poisons, to study the human genome, to learn more about how viruses work, and played a crucial role in the development of the polio vaccine.

    Although Mrs. Lacks ultimately passed away on October 4, 1951, at the age of 31, her cells continue to impact the world.

  2. Ernie, what you and Stanley Lord, president of the Greater Bridgeport NAACP offer with your response is anecdotal data with NO TRUTH in fact. One would expect that you two, who are charged with being spokespersons for the Black community, would at the very least know what you’re taking about and would check the facts prior to offering your uninformed opinions.

    First of all, Black’s and Latinos are being underrepresented not because of NO desire to participate, but because we aren’t adequately represented in the demographic of the 75 and over Connecticut residents which whites represent 89% of the demographic. As you can see that only leaves 11% of that demographic as Black, Latino and others. Even when they start to vaccinate 65 and older only 6.3% of the demographic is Black which again will not lead to an abundance of Black’s to be vaccinated and one would hazzard a guess that Latinos are probably simular to the 6.3% of that 65 and over demographic.

    If the State of Connecticut and Governor Lamont really wanted to include Black’s and Latinos in the Covid-19 vaccination process they would have implemented it for 75 and older and any Black’s or Latinos 65 and over as one group. Ernie, you and Stanley Lord, president of the Greater Bridgeport NAACP are with your bloviating laying the blame on Blacks and Latinos rather than where it belongs, on Governor Lamont and his piss poor effort at inclusion. If you don’t know where you’re going any road will take you there! The community expects more from its leadership and you two with your responses are woefully lacking.

    1. Don and Ron
      I guess if Sen Moore made this statement you two would’ve said speak Truth to Power. Both of you show be a shame of yourself. Black and Browns are dying and you guys are stuck on stupid! at lease we are trying to get those who want to be vaccinated get the vaccine! Shot

  3. Don, they both don’t get it, where are the locations to get a vaccination if they have no transportation or the ability to go online to make their appointment, there’s no outreach to those communities, where are the medical experts who are black and brown?

  4. Ernie, did you read what I said or was it to hard for you to understand, it wasn’t Rocket Science. This had nothing to do with Senator Moore and Blacks are dying because they can’t get the shot not because they don’t want the shot. Have someone read to YOU what I wrote and then have them explain to YOU what it means! You need to work on your reading comprehension because you are woefully lacking in that area.

    1. You know both of you should look at things with an open mind. There are seniors black and browns who have share with me,Their mistrust in this vaccination many of them remember the Tuskegee study. We are dying at a large number because of cov-19! At lease we are in the streets trying to bring services to those who don’t have computers to register that want the vaccination. Don you and Ron do what you do best stay on OIB and talk, while we try and save lives.

  5. Ernie, again go read what I said and try, just try to open your closed mind to a better understanding. How many seniors did you talk to that don’t want the vaccine, hundreds, thousands or several? I am one of those seniors as are my family and friends and they are without exception, want the vaccine so that they can get back to some form of normalcy in their lives. Black men live an average of 69.3 years and Governor Lamont’s 75 and over mandate will allow them to be vaccinated 6 years after they’re dead. Most states in this America started vaccinating at 65 and over. The CDC recommended that states start with 65 and over, yet your Governor started with 75 and over which is only representative of 3.6% of Black’s aged 75 or over. Black’s and Latinos are far more likely to catch and die from Covid-19 yet only less that 7% of those in the 1st wave are Black and Latino. What don’t you understand about that. May I suggest that you read this part very slowly so that the message doesn’t allude your ability to understand. If Governor Lamont wanted to include Black’s and Latinos in the original roll-out he would have started with 65 and over which would have encompassed over 22% of the 300,000 people in Connecticut that are 65 and over, which in turn would have include more Blacks and Latinos. If your desire is to look out for the seniors then you and ya boy Stanley Lord, president of the Greater Bridgeport NAACP should go to Governor Lamont and tell him to include Black’s and Latinos 65 and over in the vaccine roll-out, not in ten days, but today. Anything other than that is the Ernie Newton usual, talking to hear yourself speak!

  6. Ernie, I received this today, check it out.
    Ernie, all I was saying in my previous posts is that Black and Latinos weren’t fairly represented in the 75 and over group and because of their propensity to catch and be killed by Covid-19 they should have been included in the 1st rollout of the vaccines. That’s what you and the NAACP should have addressed with your Governor.

    1. Don
      You should be asking that question to Our State Senators and State Representatives. The City didn’t roll out a plan. The Governor did. Why didn’t you say anything about our delegation. O I know why you didn’t lol 😂

  7. Ernie, you characterize yourself as the Moses of your people, then act like it and quit asking a private citizen to do what you as an elected official should be doing! If you’re not going to look out for the community that you were elected to represent then step the hell down so that someone can be elected who’s not afraid to confront our State leaders on behalf of the people. You couldn’t have thought I was going to let that little snide remark go did you? That’s the problem Maria have with you and others on the CC, you never want to do the research to represent your community to the best of your abilities.


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