President Joe Biden is looking for a few good… barbers.
The White House, Department of Health and Human Services, and the Black Coalition Against COVID-19 are some of the organizations backing “Shots at the Shop.” They’re looking to recruit barbershops in some communities that are still hesitant to get vaccinated. President Biden is asking them to hold vaccination clinics in their shops.
It may be a tall order.
“I know a lot of people personally, a lot of customers, persons who just are very reluctant to get the shot,” admitted Weldon Eugene Cook, Jr. the owner of ChizzleGods in Southeast San Diego.
Carleton Overstreet, Jr. was one of the reluctant ones.
“When it comes to evaluating and vetting out new do-this-or-else scenarios, we’re hesitant,” said Overstreet as Cook gave him a haircut. “We have generations of history that speak towards not being able to trust the system, all systems.”
Overstreet said he did his own research, spoke with Black doctors, and made up his own mind after his mother contracted the virus.
“When it hits that close to home, that becomes a no-brainer,” he said.
Overstreet said he supported the president’s push to recruit barbers and salon owners to host vaccination clinics within their shops.
“The role of the barber is that of a counselor, brother, mentor,” he explained.
He said people like Cook could help influence others to get the vaccine as well.
“I’m down, if it’s going to better the community,” smiled Cook. “Yeah, sign me up. Definitely.”
The White House said it’s looking to recruit about a thousand barbershops and salons in some of the country’s biggest cities. However, any barbershop is eligible to apply.