Oprah Winfrey is sounding the alarm.
On Tuesday night, the TV mogul is hosting a new special on OWN TV and Apple TV+ about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the African-American community.
In order to spread the message, Winfrey appeared on all three major network morning shows, including a remote interview with Hoda Kotb on “Today”.
“It’s not only ravaging our community but people who have pre-existing conditions, which I think people didn’t hear that so if you are taking medications for your diabetes, if you are taking medication because of hypertension, if you need an asthma inhaler, if you have any kind of lung disorder,” she said. “I am still concerned about myself from pneumonia because my lungs never really fully cleared, so the moment I heard pre-existing conditions I am like, ‘Lock the door no one else is coming in here!'”
She added, “We as a people, as African-Americans, have jobs that require us to be at work. For so many of the African-Americans there isn’t this ability to telecommute … One of the things we are talking about in the special is the need for more testing centres, obviously. It is important for African-Americans to understand for ourselves this is so serious, it is taking us out.”
Winfrey also appeared for an interview on “Good Morning America”.
On the show she said, “What is happening in the black community is devastating.”
Asked if she was surprised by people’s shock at the effect of the coronavirus on black communities, Winfrey said, “Am I surprised that people were surprised? No, I am not surprised. People basically, as you know, think about their own lives and not think about others. What I do know is there is a way to connect to the community in such a way that uses language for people to stop and pay attention to.”
Appearing on “CBS This Morning”, Winfrey said she hopes “we come away from this experience changed, and if it doesn’t change you in some way then you missed the point. I don’t want to see what has to happen to actually change you and I think when we come out on the other side, every other person — not just in America but throughout the world — is going to be more appreciative of the simple things in life, the things that you can’t do now that you took for granted.”
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.
For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.