Black Americans say US health-care system infected with racism: Poll

2020-11-04 14:19:15
Black Americans say US health-care system infected with racism: Poll

Black Americans say the US health care system is infected by the same racial injustice that they encounter in American society, according to a new poll.

A new survey by The Undefeated and the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) found that 7 in 10 African Americans believe that blacks are treated unfairly when they seek medical care.

It’s a feeling born of unequal history and intensified by the coronavirus pandemic, which is disproportionately affecting African Americans, 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.

The poll found that about four out of 10 Black adults knew someone who has died from the coronavirus, almost double the rate for white people.

The survey also shows that African Americans are doubtful about the promise of a coronavirus vaccine that public health officials hope to begin deploying in the coming months.

Public health experts say the suspicions around a vaccine is due to the discrimination many African Americans endure, not only as they attempt to access health care, but also as they go about their daily lives.

“We have a centurieslong legacy in this country of basically Black people, in particular, and other people of color as well, being treated poorly,” said Dr. Lisa A. Cooper, an internist who directs The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Equity. “So why should Black people trust any institution? It has gone on for so long.”

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