As COVID-19 progresses, concerns over the virus’ impact has grown within the black community. That’s why Carmelo Anthony, retired NBA superstar, recently interviewed Georges Benjamin, APHA’s executive director, about COVID-19 and what the public should do to better handle this pandemic.

“It’s important that we understand what facts are true, how this pandemic is affecting the black community in particular and overall tips for staying healthy during quarantine,”  Anthony wrote on his YouTube channel, where he posted the interview for his fans. “We’re in this together and every one of us plays a role in helping one another.”

During the conversation, Benjamin recognized that the coronavirus is a serious threat in the black community, especially for those who have critical health issues, such as diabetes and hypertension. He urged people to choose credible news sources, like APHA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Anthony asked Benjamin about what steps are needed to keep families safe in the black community, which has been hit hard by COVID-19, according to recent studies. Talking about physical distancing, Anthony worried that “everybody's outside, hanging out. People are starting to just give up.” 

“I understand. When I was 25, I thought I was invincible,” Benjamin said. “There were a lot of rumors about how we're immune to this disease. That ain’t true. We are not only not invincible, but we can see right in front of our eyes, like everything else, we’re impacted more than folks who don’t look like us, don't have our experience.”

He and Anthony talked about how best to inform children of the disease and the importance of staying safe through washing hands and wearing a mask because everyone is at risk. Benjamin encouraged people to look out for their mental health, exercise, watch what they eat, call a friend and plan ahead for health care if they become sick. 

“We are going to get through this,” he said. “We’re strong people, and we go through a whole lot of stuff.” 

Anthony assured Benjamin that he is doing his best to take care of the community. “You give us the same spirit as you do on the court,” Benjamin said. 

Watch the video of the conversation now.


Written by Arnice Cottom, communications support, APHA.