The Survey on Race and Health, a joint project between KFF and ESPN’s The Undefeated, explores the public’s views and experiences on the topics of health care, racial discrimination, and the coronavirus pandemic, with a special focus on Black adults, a group that has borne a disproportionate burden of COVID-19 cases and deaths.
The nationwide poll found that 7 in 10 African Americans believe that people are treated unfairly based on race or ethnicity when they seek medical care. It’s a feeling born of unequal history and intensified by the coronavirus pandemic, which is disproportionately ravaging Black lives both physically and economically.
The poll, which included interviews with 777 African Americans, is the most comprehensive survey of Black attitudes and experiences with health care since the start of the pandemic. Among the findings:
- About four out of 10 Black adults said they knew someone who has died from the coronavirus, almost double the rate for white people.
- One-third of Black adults and nearly half of Black parents are struggling to pay their bills as a result of the pandemic. Two out of 3 Black parents have either lost jobs or had their incomes interrupted since the pandemic struck in February.
- While a sizable minority of Americans of all races are deeply skeptical of the nation’s byzantine health care system, the feeling is more pronounced in the Black community. Fifty-five percent of African Americans said they distrust it.