Walt Disney Television/Lou RoccoTyler Perry pleads with the black community to take COVID-19 seriously and practice social distancing, after the loss of his longtime crew member, Mr. Charles Gregory, to the virus.
“Dear Black people, today it’s with a heavy heart that I inform you of the passing of one of our crew members. Mr. Charles Gregory was a hairstylist that had worked with us for many years,” he wrote on Instagram.
“The man was warm, loving and hilarious. We all loved to see him coming and hear his laughter. Charles lost his battle with COVID-19 today. It saddens me to think of him dying this way. My sincerest prayers are with his family.”
As the coronavirus continues to rip through the nation, black communities have been infected at an alarming rate. Despite the government restricting travel and large gatherings, police are still having to break up gatherings in New Orleans, New York, and other affected areas.
The latest CDC data report gave a racial population breakdown; 59% white, 14% Latino and 18% black. But even though 45% of hospitalized coronavirus patients were white and 8% were Latino, 33% were black, “suggesting that black populations might be disproportionately affected by COVID-19.”
“While everyone can contract this virus it is black people who are dying from it in much larger numbers. This thing is real, black people,” he wrote. He said the idea that ‘Black people don’t get it’ is a lie.
70% of the people who have died from COVID-19 in Louisiana and Chicago are black. African Americans account for 18% of COVID-19 deaths in New York.
Tyler Perry is pleading with everyone to stop all gatherings and to think of our lives, the lives of others and the ones we love.