Oprah Focuses On COVID-19’s Impact On African Americans In New Show

Van Jones, Lori Lightfoot and Jennifer Hudson make appearances.

Oprah Winfrey is getting all of the hard facts when it comes to the African American community and the coronavirus pandemic.

In the latest episode of her new Apple TV+ series, Oprah Talks COVID-19, which aired on Tuesday, titled "The Deadly Impact on Black America," she placed emphasis on how dangerous the disease has been for the community.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the episode includes discussions with CNN host and Reform Alliance CEO Van Jones, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, New York Times staff writer and 1619 Project founder Nikole Hannah-Jones and Dr. Aletha Maybank, chief health equity officer at the American Medical Association, along with a special performance from Jennifer Hudson.

Each guest spoke with Winfrey about the critical impact the coronavirus has had on the Black community.

"Black people turn out to be at the center of the pandemic," Jones told Winfrey over video chat. 

He continued by saying that Black Americans did not realize ailments like diabetes, hypertension and asthma put them at high risk for COVID-19.

"'We thought it was an old white folks thing. I'm not going to Asia. I'm not in a nursing home. I'm young. I'm not worried,'" he said, describing the mentality of many people in Black America. "You're going to be dead if you take pills every day and walk around without a mask."

Hannah-Jones also explained that the disparity in deaths due to the coronavirus comes from racial inequality.

"These conditions didn't come out of thin air,” she said. “It's not that black people are making bad lifestyle choices, it's that we know that black people are disproportionately in neighborhoods next to toxic waste sites and highways, which is why we have such high asthma rates."

Apple says Winfrey’s show is aimed at helping Black people “mindfully move through a crisis” while “holding on to ourselves and our humanity.”

Watch clips from the latest episode of Oprah Talks COVID-19 below.

For the latest on the coronavirus, check out BET’s blog on the virus, and contact your local health department or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

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