Kizzmekia Corbett, one of the researchers behind the coronavirus vaccine, opened up this week about her feelings of hopelessness as many Americans refuse to receive the vaccine even as variant cases increase across the country.
In a tweet thread, Corbett described his time watching people come and go in a Louisiana ICU while experiencing a “non-COVID family emergency.”
“In Louisiana … a ‘hot spot’ … watching the virus do what viruses do,” he wrote in a tweet. “… I feel helpless because people are choosing not to get the vaccine. I … I … don’t have the words.”
The state health department has reported 5,388 new virus cases and nearly 844 COVID-19-related hospitalizations. On Thursday, New Orleans announced new recommendations asking residents and tourists to resume wearing face masks amid the surge in cases.
4 / n: I am an inventor of the COVID vaccine.
… In Louisiana … a “hot spot” … watching the virus do what viruses do.
… Feeling powerless because people are choosing not to get the vaccine.
I … I … I don’t have the words.
– KizzyPhD (@KizzyPhD) July 20, 2021
Corbett said that during his stay in Louisiana he encountered a grieving wife, a woman who openly cried in the ICU, and a staff member who informed him that the two-person visit limit would soon end as a result of the rise in COVID-19. in the state.
“Please go get vaccinated, please. That’s it. I’m past the point of not begging.
“Just go. If you can … go,” he tweeted.
Corbett is the lead scientist for coronavirus vaccine research at the National Institutes of Health and helped invent Moderna’s vaccine.
Last year, he expressed his commitment to fighting vaccine doubts and said trust should be rebuilt among communities of color.
“So what I tell people first is that I feel empathy, and then second, I’m going to do my part to lay those bricks,” he said at the time. “And I think if everyone on our side, as doctors and scientists, did it that way, then trust would start to rebuild.”
On Friday, Corbett tweeted an update on the situation in Louisiana, noting that a friend she made in the ICU waiting room had lost her husband.
6 / n: Update: My friend from the ICU waiting room lost her husband to COVID. Yesterday, I mourned your husband like an uncle. I can only imagine what ICU doctors and nurses have been through for 1.5 years. pic.twitter.com/Rtf1eTHN6e
– KizzyPhD (@KizzyPhD) July 23, 2021