NEWARK, NJ - Saint Michael's Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Hamid Shaaban
has been sounding the alarm in regional and national media about the disproportionate
impact of COVID-19 on communities of color.
Dr. Shaaban has appeared on NBC-4, The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC and
NBC Nightly News with Lester Hold to discuss how COVID-19 is impacting
the hospital, located in the heart of an urban community.
Newark has the highest number of COVID-19 patients in the state with 3,167
cases as of April 15. Nearly every bed in Saint Michael's is filled
with COVID-19 patients.
"In the past couple of weeks, it's been very hectic," Dr.
Shaaban told the Rachel Maddow show on April 8. "The emergency room,
our hospital has been inundated with a lot of admissions. We're anticipating
the surge this week. I'm not going to lie to you, it is a source of
Dr. Shaaban said though New Jersey had two weeks of social distancing,
the numbers of patients with COVID-19 continues to increase.
In the face of PPE (personal protective equipment) shortages, staffing
shortages, it's a challenge," Dr. Shaaban said. "But we
are rising up to the challenge and we understand what our role is."
NBC-4, the NBC affiliate in New York City, did a segment on April 8 Dr.
Shaaban in which he kept a diary for several days. The segment focused
on how COVID-19 takes a higher toll on minority communities.
"At Saint Michael's Medical Center in Newark, one doctor took
us to the front lines of his battle to save the people who were already
at a disadvantage," said Chris Glorioso, introducing the segment.
"Dr. Hamid Shaaban is a physician of color working in Newark, NJ,
a city that is more than 80 percent minority. One of his observations
is the ruthless way coronavirus is attacking poor African- and Hispanic-Americans."
Dr. Shaaban told NBC-4 that the "viral pandemic is intersecting with
two epidemics that are already taking place - the epidemic of homelessness
and the epidemic of epidemic of obesity."
In an appearance on April 14, Dr. Shaaban shared a segment with Oprah Winfrey,
who also sounded the alarm about the impact of COVID-19 on the African-American