By Staff

DALLAS (CBSDFW) – The longest serving elected leader in Dallas County, Commissioner John Wiley Price will take the COVID-19 vaccine to encourage others in the Black community to do the same.

Commissioner Price is going public, he said, to dispel and dismiss some of the misinformation and conspiracy theories surrounding the issue.

READ MORE: North Texas Seeing Plenty Of COVID-19 Vaccine Supply With No Wait Lists

“Too many people in our community refuse the treatment based on an erroneous belief about the infamous Tuskegee experiment. This virus and its emerging variants are too dangerous for a demographic that is already vastly underserved in terms of healthcare delivery,” said Price.

In a statement, Price refers to a June 2016 article about the “Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male” that appeared in the magazine, The Atlantic.

READ MORE: 'Nobody Should Get Away With Murder': Family Continues Search For Answers After Father Killed In Suspected Road Rage Shooting In Dallas

The study initially involved 600 black men – 399 with syphilis, 201 who did not have the disease. The study was conducted without the benefit of patients’ informed consent. Researchers told the men they were being treated for “bad blood,” a local term used to describe several ailments, including syphilis, anemia, and fatigue. In truth, they did not receive the proper treatment needed to cure their illness, according to the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention. In exchange for taking part in the study, the men received free medical exams, free meals, and burial insurance. Although originally projected to last 6 months, the unethical study actually went on for 40 years.

“The common misunderstanding is that Black men were injected with syphilis. That is an erred notion that has never been widely challenged in the public square. The real travesty was that health professionals had a cure and refused to share it with men who looked like me,” said Price. “I fight daily for those who have been underserved historically. Our senior and indigent populations should at least get an equal shot at this vaccine. We need to take the Moderna, Pfizer, or Johnson and Johnson version as quickly as possible.”

  • Click here for a list of vaccination locations and links in North Texas.

Price will hold a news conference before getting his first dose of the vaccine at 10 a.m. Monday at the Ellis Davis Fieldhouse Complex.

MORE NEWS: Stimulus Check Latest: Is A Fourth Relief Payment Coming? Staff