Crystal R. Emery’s ‘The Deadliest Disease in America’ Premieres
at New York’s Cinema Village Theater

On September 10, 2021, the premiere of the Crystal R. Emery documentary entitled The Deadliest Disease in America was held at Cinema Village Theater in NYC. The documentary asked the following question: What makes COVID-19 even deadlier? Racism in medicine.

Crystal Emery uses her research to trace the history of racism in American health care from the brutal medical experimentation forced upon enslaved peoples to the modern-day inequity in fatality rates and access to treatment experienced by people of color during the pandemic. The timely film, which is written, directed and produced by Emery — a Connecticut filmmaker and American Association for the Advancement of Science AAAS IF/THEN Ambassador, who is also triumphing over quadriplegia and two serious diseases — held its red carpet premieres and a one-week run.

Upon speaking with Crystal Emery, she discussed her own experience with inconsistency in medical treatment that happened while seeking treatment and she felt compelled to help others with medicine and advocating for more women of color in STEM.

Ten years in the making, The Deadliest Disease in America presents the sobering personal stories of patients who have been victimized by health care inequities, including Emery, who shares her own experiences as a quadriplegic African American woman. Lending their expertise to the film by way of commentary are Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, MD, MHS, senior adviser to the White House COVID-19 Response Team; Dr. Camara Jones, MD, MPH, PhD, epidemiologist, past president of American Public Health Association; Dr. Bert Petersen, MD, Director of Division of Breast Surgery at SBH Health System; Dr. Vivek Murthy, MD, MBA, surgeon general of the United States; and others.

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