Black doctors face a greater burden than other doctors because not only do they need to do their jobs during the pandemic, but they also must "make sure black communities are not left behind in the process of treatment, and convince people of color to trust the services they hope will become accessible." Due to a history of health care disparities suffered by the African American community, even black doctors face an uphill battle in convincing their communities to trust them and to trust that they will give them appropriate care.
The cynicism the African American community harbors toward the American health care system dates back to the slave trade, when African people were objectified and made to feel less than human. It continued with false claims of free medical treatment, such as the "so-called Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male—when hundreds of African American men were deliberately infected with syphilis from 1932 to 1972 after being told they were receiving free government health care." Apart from such a nefarious history, cultural and familial anecdotes also play a role in a misunderstanding by African Americans about the need for health care when positive results get overshadowed by the long-told tale of "Uncle Johnny" who "was fine but he went to the doctor and everything went downhill."