Bill Thomas

HU Associate VP of Governmental Relations Blasts State and Local Officials on Covid-19 Support on WNIS

HAMPTON, VA. (June 22, 2020) Bill Thomas, Associate VP of Governmental Relations at Hampton University, stopped by WNIS AM790 today to deliver a fiery and impassioned address to the station’s listeners on a special broadcast of the “Ask the Experts” radio show. His cause – the overwhelming disparities facing African Americans regarding incidence and mortality rates for cancer, and now Covid-19. “Black males are more likely to die from prostate cancer than any other ethnic group. And just recently the latest data shows African Americans have died from Covid-19 at almost three times the rate of white people,” Mr. Thomas ardently said. “Something positively has to be done.”

Mr. Thomas commended the visionary leadership of Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey, who secured funding for and founded the Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute (HUPTI), the world’s largest free-standing proton therapy cancer treatment center, in 2005 after being presented with data showing Hampton Roads was leading the nation in prostate cancer deaths and African American men were more than twice as likely to die from cancer than their white counterparts. “It’s like the same story all over again.” Mr. Thomas said.

He also admonished local and state officials for their lack of funding for HUPTI, which has treated over 3,000 patients for various cancers with millimeter precision and minimal side effects, but will also soon have the ability to fight Covid-19 by testing the condition of lungs with the acquisition of an MRI machine. The staff at Hampton University and HUPTI feel as though more should be done in the realm of funding and support to help bolster their efforts.

“I’m not angry. I’m fed up and sounding the alarm.” Mr. Thomas exclaimed. Tune in to WNIS AM 790 this Saturday, June 27, 2020, at 8 am to hear Mr. Thomas’ full interview.

For additional information, please call (757) 251-6814 or email cordereau.dye@hamptonproton.org.