Eight members of South Florida attorney’s family have COVID-19

Plea at Easter Service cautions about consequences of not adhering to guidelines

MIAMI, Fla. – A South Florida attorney is sending out a message urging people to take social distancing seriously.

Hilton Napoleon II has eight family members, including his father, a police chief in Michigan, with COVID-19.

Napoleon believes it was likely contracted at a gathering in March before anyone was focused on social distancing to keep the spread of the virus at bay.

He delivered a message Sunday during Easter service, that pleaded with people to take precautions.

“Even if it’s one person that I touched to tell them, this is a dire circumstance,” said Napoleon, who pointed out that he still sees too many people not paying attention to the guidelines – staying home and separated. He fears the consequences.

“Especially in communities of color; There are a lot of issues. Especially diabetes, heart disease, a lot of contributing factors that make COVID-19 that much more dangerous.

Research shows Napoleon is right. Black Americans are three times more likely to die from complications. Underlying health issues are the collateral damage from generations worth of inequalities in health care, costs and preventative measures."

Napoleon’s father remains on a ventilator in a coma and he has been that way for the better part of a month.

“For a lot of people, until it hits close to home, they don’t take it as serious as they would otherwise,” said Napoleon.

About the Author:

Glenna Milberg joined Local 10 News in September 1999 to report on South Florida's top stories and community issues. She also serves as co-host on Local 10's public affairs broadcast, "This Week in South Florida."