Oprah Winfrey reveals she is a masker and will continue to wear one around other people 

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Oprah Winfrey criticized a court ruling earlier this month that lifted mask mandates for public transportation, saying ‘it’s too soon’ to remove certain COVID-19 restrictions and that she will continue to wear a mask inside planes. 

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Discussing her new documentary ‘The Color of Care’ with the Los Angeles Times, the veteran talk show host revealed she was so fearful of becoming infected that she spent 332 days without leaving her home during the peak of the pandemic.  

Oprah told the outlet she is not quite ready just yet to let go of precautions.  

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‘I personally think it’s too soon to be removing masks from planes. But that’s what people choose to do. And if I were on a commercial plane, I would be one of the people who would still be wearing my mask,’ Oprah told the Los Angeles Times. 

She continued: ‘And I would be one of the people still wearing my masks in an enclosed building with people who I didn’t know if they were or were not vaccinated. But that is just me. And I certainly accept that there are other people who disagree. I’m OK with that as long as I can wear mine.’

Oprah said she is aware of the immense privilege her fame and wealth have granted her throughout the pandemic. 

She shared she decided to make the film – which airs Sunday on the Smithsonian Channel – after reading about the countless stories of people of color for whom the pandemic proved fatal because of racial inequities in the healthcare system. 

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More than 990,000 Americans have perished from COVID-19, according to the CDC. 

‘One of the reasons I read all of those stories is because I am appalled, I am stunned. I don’t recognize a country where you’ve lost nearly a million people and there hasn’t been some form of remembering that is significant,’ Oprah said. 

Discussing her new documentary 'The Color of Care', Oprah said she is aware of the immense privilege her fame and wealth have granted her throughout the pandemic

Discussing her new documentary ‘The Color of Care’, Oprah said she is aware of the immense privilege her fame and wealth have granted her throughout the pandemic

Revealing she spent 332 days without leaving her home during the peak of the pandemic, Oprah went on to tell the LA times she is not quite ready just yet to let go of precautions

Revealing she spent 332 days without leaving her home during the peak of the pandemic, Oprah went on to tell the LA times she is not quite ready just yet to let go of precautions

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Oprah told the LA Times she had been lucky not to have lost anybody in her family to COVID-19, but said she was able to have access to privileges many Americans did not have, like staying home for almost a year to avoid becoming infected. 

‘You can do that when you don’t have to worry about where your next paycheck is coming from. I didn’t have to worry about ”Am I going to have rent? Am I going to be able to get food? Am I going to be able to keep the lights on and am I going to be able to take care of my children?”’ Oprah said. 

The 68-year-old said she was appalled by the close to one million COVID-19 deaths in America. 

‘…There hasn’t been a communal gathering where there is acknowledgment that this has happened to us. Who are we that there is no acknowledgment, profoundly, in our society that we have lost our loved ones? And at times, we’re not even able to bury our dead,’ she told the LA times. 

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Oprah said she was inspired to document the harsh reality of many families of color after reading on USA Today about Gary Fowler, a black man who died of COVID-19 without receiving a test for it despite being in contact with his father, who also perished from the virus. 

Fowler was turned away by three hospitals in Detroit, before giving up on seeking treatment. He died at home, in his favorite chair, having written shortly before that he couldn’t breathe, the Detroit Press first reported. 

Oprah said she was inspired to document the harsh reality of many families of color after reading on USA Today about Gary Fowler, a black man who died of COVID-19 without receiving a test for it despite being in contact with his father

Oprah said she was inspired to document the harsh reality of many families of color after reading on USA Today about Gary Fowler, a black man who died of COVID-19 without receiving a test for it despite being in contact with his father

Fowler was turned away by three hospitals in Detroit, before giving up on seeking treatment. He died at home, in his favorite chair, having written shortly before that he couldn't breathe

Fowler was turned away by three hospitals in Detroit, before giving up on seeking treatment. He died at home, in his favorite chair, having written shortly before that he couldn’t breathe

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 A recent poll found that black and Hispanic Americans remain far more cautious in their approach to COVID-19 than white Americans, reflecting diverging preferences on how to deal with the pandemic as federal, state and local restrictions fall by the wayside.

Despite majority favorability among US adults overall for measures like mask mandates, public health experts said divided opinions among racial groups reflect not only the unequal impact of the pandemic on people of color but also apathy among some white Americans.

Blacks and Hispanics continue to be more likely than white people to say they are at least somewhat worried about themselves or a family member being infected with COVID-19, according to an April poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Throughout the pandemic, black and Hispanic communities have experienced higher rates of illness and death from COVID, said Amelia Burke-Garcia, public health program area director at NORC. 

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Those experiences have resulted in greater levels of stress, anxiety and awareness of the risks of catching COVID-19, she said, which means people of color are more likely to feel measures like mask mandates are needed.

Throughout the pandemic, black and Hispanic communities have experienced higher rates of illness and death from COVID

Throughout the pandemic, black and Hispanic communities have experienced higher rates of illness and death from COVID

Those experiences have resulted in greater levels of stress, anxiety and awareness of the risks of catching COVID-19

Those experiences have resulted in greater levels of stress, anxiety and awareness of the risks of catching COVID-19

‘We’ve seen these trends endure throughout the entire pandemic,’ Burke-Garcia said. ‘What we’re seeing now as mitigation measures are being rolled back is there’s still great concern amongst Black Americans and Hispanic Americans around the risk of getting sick.’

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Seventy-one percent of Black Americans say they favor requiring face masks for people traveling on airplanes, trains and other types of public transportation. 

That’s more than the 52percent of white Americans who support mask mandates for travelers; 29percent of white Americans are opposed. 

Among Hispanic Americans, 59percent are in favor and 20percent are opposed. The poll was conducted before a ruling by a federal judge scuttled the government’s mask mandate for travelers.

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