A group of more than 150 Chaldean doctors published a letter urging the state’s large Chaldean community to get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus as soon as possible.
The group of medical specialist comes from various fields. The signees said they were pediatricians, pulmonologists, allergists, anesthesiologists, ophthalmologists, obstetricians, plastic surgeons, family practitioner surgeons and “every specialist in between.”
The specialists work in a variety of settings, from operating room to nurseries.
“Over the last year and half, many of us have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the letter reads. “With each wave, we continue to work tirelessly to keep our community healthy and safe. Many of us got sick with COVID-19. When no visitors were allowed in our hospitals, we were there holding the hands of your loved ones during their final moments.”
The letter writers say they represent hundreds of years of physician experience, selflessly caring for thousands and thousands of patients.
When we take off our white coats, we come back to our Chaldean community where we too often wear black clothing. We have lost children, parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins and friends to this pandemic. — Group of Chaldean doctors
“It is our privilege to wake up every day with your health and wellbeing as our life’s work,” the physicians said, adding:
“When we take off our white coats, we come back to our Chaldean community where we too often wear black clothing. We have lost children, parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins and friends to this pandemic. We can end this. The COVID-19 vaccine is the answer.”
The doctors, who are all vaccinated, said they have no stake in the vaccines other than their benefit to public health. They also spoke of the powerful effects of misinformation about the life-saving vaccines on the general public, including the Chaldean community.
“Unfortunately, false information is more contagious than the virus,” the doctors said. “As such, our patients and loved ones continue to die preventable deaths. As members of the Chaldean medical community, we understand you have concerns and we encourage you to ask questions and talk to your doctor.”
The doctors said they would like to sit down with those concerned about the vaccines, listen and answer their questions. They implored every eligible person in to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
“Not only is it our job to keep you healthy, but we sincerely care about you and our entire Chaldean community.”
They also appealed to the Chaldean community’s religious affiliation in order to urge more vaccinations:
“Our beloved Pope Francis, who himself is vaccinated, said getting vaccinated is an ‘Act of love.’ We agree.”
Sterling Heights still leads the county in positive cases as of Thursday, far ahead of other county communities and just ahead of a dense neighboring city, Warren.
Macomb County is a hub for Chaldean Americans, with the city of Sterling Heights being considered an enclave. Many Chaldeans migrated to the north Detroit area generations ago and still have a large presence in the area.
As of Thursday, 63 percent of residents of Macomb County had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
COVID-19 infections in the county dropped drastically from their peak in April, from 20 percent positive of all tests taken down to only 9 percent in September.
But the county’s COVID-19 dashboard shows Sterling Heights still leads the county in positive cases as of Thursday, far ahead of other county communities and just ahead of a dense neighboring city, Warren.