A deliveryman in Missouri recently tested positive for COVID-19, and he thinks his encounter with an anti-vaxxer could be to blame.
Brandon Ford, 23, told the St. Louis American this Wednesday that while making his rounds as an Uber Eats driver, he was confronted by an unmasked customer who identified himself as a doctor and began to lecture him about the alleged negative effects the COVID-19 vaccine has on Black people.
"You look like a nice guy," Ford, who is Black, claims the man said. "Then he started bragging about never wearing a mask and not being vaccinated. He proceeded to lecture me about how Blacks and Latinos are more at risk and how the medical system has always had plans for us…he mentioned Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, and how abortions were started to wipe out the black race…all this crazy stuff! It was a pretty racist experience."
"As a Black person, I feel like sometimes there's not much you can say because usually white people are in positions of power like this particular guy. I didn't say anything because I felt it would only hurt me," Ford said.
Ford, who is fully vaccinated, says he wore a mask during the encounter. But later that evening, he says he began to feel sick -- then he lost his sense of taste and smell. He later tested positive for COVID-19.
Ford says he doesn't know if he caught the virus from the man, but he says that the man was the only unmasked person he encountered that day besides a homeless man that he gave money to at a "safe distance."
Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, the head of the US president's task force on COVID-19 health equity, told the St. Louis American that anti-vaccine campaigns are targeting Black Americans with misinformation.
"There are actors out there trying to take advantage with misinformation about the vaccines, especially among some of the communities that have been hardest hit," she said.