Coronavirus Briefing: What Happened Today

Now, they can’t get enough. “Because people are seeing countries out there reopening, there’s a huge appetite for the vaccine,” Abdi sai...


Now, they can’t get enough.

“Because people are seeing countries out there reopening, there’s a huge appetite for the vaccine,” Abdi said. “Now, particularly in places like Kisumu or Nairobi, people are like, ‘Just give me anything right now.’”


In the U.S., many immigrants are shut out from mainstream medicine, and some people are using unproven remedies to treat the coronavirus. These medicines are promoted by doctors and companies on social media, or they find their way to “wellness” clinics or the black market.

At a flea market in California, vendors recently sold $25 injections of the steroid dexamethasone, several kinds of antibiotics and the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin. Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine — the malaria drugs pushed by Donald J. Trump last year — make regular appearances at the market as well, as do sham herbal supplements.

One woman recently told The Times how her husband, a farmworker, had become so sick from Covid that he couldn’t breathe or walk, but he refused to go to the hospital because he had heard rumors that undocumented immigrants had checked in and never left. She took him to a wellness clinic, where a doctor gave him injectable peptide treatments, for which she was charged $1,400.

Some unregulated drugs can be dangerous. And even if they aren’t a health risk by themselves, they can lead people to postpone seeking help from doctors, which can be deadly. Delayed treatment is one reason Black and Hispanic people have died from Covid at twice the rate as white people in the U.S.

“I am not surprised that people are taken advantage of,” said Oralia Maceda Méndez, an advocate at a California-based community group for Indigenous people from Oaxaca, Mexico. “We don’t have the care we need.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: Coronavirus Briefing: What Happened Today
Coronavirus Briefing: What Happened Today
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