ACROSS AMERICA — Trust in the two coronavirus vaccines that have been authorized for use in the United States has varied from state to state and region to region. It’s another recent crisis that’s giving pause to residents in Flint, Michigan, where people remain skeptical in leadership some six years after an 18-month water crisis.
“When you tell us that the water is safe, but it really wasn’t, that relationship between leadership and the community is still damaged,” Todd Womack, pastor of community connections at Central Church of the Nazarene in Flint, told NBC News. “That just layers the historical trauma that has presented itself in our community.”
For more than a year beginning in 2014, Flint residents were assured by their public officials that the city’s tap water was safe, when, in fact, it had dangerously high levels of lead.
Now, they have questions on the safety of a coronavirus vaccine, according to the NBC News report. People in the city have expressed concerns over parallels they see.
Just as they are hesitant to drink the water, they are not yet ready to embrace the vaccines, the report states.
Public health officials in the state are turning to community leaders, like Rev. Dr. Sarah Bailey, an elder at Flint’s Full Gospel Baptist Church who welcomes the new vaccines, to help build up trust.
Bailey, who told NBC News she has had to reassure residents that the vaccine won’t give them the virus nor affect their DNA, said the community remains “emotionally spent” from the water crisis.
“Everybody has to make up their own mind,” she said. “It’s going to take people that they trust in the community, that they see take the vaccine themselves and see them be OK, and then they’ll say, ‘Well, if they took it, and they’re OK, maybe I should, too.'”
At least three Democratic members of the House of Representatives have tested positive for the coronavirus nearly a week after a riotous mob of President Donald Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building during Congress’ tally of electoral votes from the 2020 presidential election.
Illinois Rep. Brad Schneider was the latest lawmaker to announce a positive test on Tuesday. Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington state and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, of New Jersey, have also announced positive tests.
Schneider placed the blame on his GOP colleagues, many of whom, he said, were not wearing masks while at the Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot.
“Several Republican lawmakers in the room adamantly refused to wear a mask, as demonstrated in video from Punchbowl News, even when politely asked by their colleagues,” Schneider said in a statement. “Today, I am now in strict isolation, worried that I have risked my wife’s health and angry at the selfishness and arrogance of the anti-maskers who put their own contempt and disregard for decency ahead of the health and safety of their colleagues and our staff.”
The apparent outbreak on Capitol Hill comes as daily case and death…