Dr. Joseph Gathe Jr. on fourth COVID surge, Dan Patrick’s comments and more
Dr. Joseph Gathe Jr.

Dr. Joseph Gathe Jr. is a medical field giant living among us. Yet, Gathe is as committed and passionate about spreading expert, credible information on the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccinations, mask-wearing, as he is down-to-earth.

Gathe’s educational and professional credentials are extensive, as is his litany of awards and leadership appointments. This Strake Jesuit College Preparatory graduate was the first African American Chief Resident at St. Luke’s Hospital in 1984 and has been in private practice in Houston since 1986, where he maintains one of the largest private practice clinics for HIV patients in the county.

But Gathe is less concerned about the public recognizing his name as he is about people taking this pandemic seriously.

Here Gathe confronts COVID misinformation with COVID facts.


The Moderna vaccine, which is one of the MRNA vaccines that we have, was studies and manufactured by an African American woman, Dr. Kizzy Corbett. So, the Moderna vaccine is from a Black woman. If you think a Black woman is going to come and so something wrong for our community, I would challenge you to say, not so much. And I would also say, when you want a job done, you call a Black woman to take care of business. And that’s what Dr. Kizzy did.


What we have now is actually the reverse of Tuskegee. Tuskegee is where they took a group of sharecropper men that had syphilis and decided not to treat the with penicillin. They didn’t give them the penicillin. They watched them essentially get sick and potentially die because they didn’t give them the treatment.

This (COVID pandemic) is the reverse. We’re watching people get sick and die. Here’s the treatment, which is the vaccine. But now, you don’t want to take the “penicillin.” So, you’re doing exactly what Tuskegee was trying to do, not giving you that medicine. It’s the exact opposite. Here is the antidote for the disease, but we don’t want to take it because we don’t trust the government. That’s just like the sharecroppers back in Tuskegee saying, “I’m not taking that penicillin. I know nothing about that,” which is going to cure them. So, it’s actually the exact opposite.


What’s different about the time now and them (Tuskegee) is we do have seats at the table. Dr. Kizzy Corbett has a seat at the table. I have a seat at the table. We’ve got people in the FDA committees looking at this stuff. I yell and scream at the pharmaceutical companies to make sure they’re doing the right thing for us. Back then, we didn’t have any seats. We have seats at the table that a lot of what you hear and what comes out is vetted by people who look like us.


I don’t even know where that even came from: “If I take this, I can’t have kids. It’s going to mess my sperm up and get into my DNA.” We have, as our genetic structure, something called DNA. The vaccine is RNA. We don’t have a genetic structure of RNA that controls us, so to speak. So, the MRNA vaccine can’t get into our genetic profiles because it’s not the same thing. And once you get the vaccine, that MRNA is gone in 48 hours. So, there is no way it’s going to get into your genetic material. There’s no way it’s going to get into your fertility. There’s no way it’s going to make women unable to have kids. So, that is just absolutely false, and we can say, that’s not an issue at all.


Would you walk around the hospital with me? I’ll show you what sick is. Sick is the 40 people I’ve already seen today who have COVID, who can’t breathe. That’s sick. These vaccinations, if you get anything, there’s a little bit of a headache, maybe a little bit of fever, maybe a little bit of sore arm. But really, nothing at all that is anywhere near the COVID symptoms that you can get if you don’t take the vaccine.

This is Part 1 of a 4-part series from Dr. Gathe.