WILLOWBROOK, Calif. – Michael Wilder is on a short walk, but it’s a very important walk. He’s on his way to the new coronavirus testing site at the Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science in Willowbrook.

“It’s about living and knowing what I can take home to my family and what I can’t. What I have and what I don’t have,” Wilder said. 

He’s on the frontlines of this pandemic as a painter at a hospital right across the street from the site.

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“I’m right in the middle. I work in the tents with the patients. I work in the R & R building of people that’s been tested that have the virus,” explained Wilder.

Yet this is the first time he and people in this neighborhood have been able to get testing, a scary thought considering what medical officials are calling a significant racial disparity when it comes to COVID-19 deaths. 

“Health disparities have already existed for the African-American community. They’re underlying the medical conditions, the diabetes, the hypertension, the obesity, the asthma,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. “Those are the things that wind them up in the ICU and ultimately give them a higher death rate.” 

It’s why the LA County Department of Health thought it was so critical to have this testing site in this community, where people can drive through or walk up like Wilder and set up an appointment.

“Cause no matter if you’re a minority or an employee. It doesn’t matter. It’s very important for everybody because it’s everybody’s life,” Wilder added.

“All individuals matter. And we will make sure that everyone who needs to be tested is tested. That’s what health equity is about,” said LA County Supervisor, Mark Ridley-Thomas.

Wilder now has information he needs to sign up for testing, and he’s happy, it’s here now rather than later or never. 

If you would like to make an appointment for a LA County Covid 19 test, call 211 or visit coronavirus.lacity.org