Racial Disparities in COVID-19 Impacts in Michigan, USA.J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2022 02; 9(1):156-164.JR
Racial disparities have been observed in the impacts of COVID-19 in the USA. In the present paper, we used a representative sample of adults in Michigan to examine differences in COVID-19 impacts on Blacks and Whites in four domains: direct, perceived, political, and behavioral. We found that in the initial wave of the outbreak in May 2020, Blacks experienced more severe direct impacts: they were more likely to be diagnosed or know someone who was diagnosed, and more likely to lose their job compared to Whites. In addition, Blacks differed significantly from Whites in their assessment of COVID-19's threat to public health and the economy, the adequacy of government responses to COVID-19, and the appropriateness of behavioral changes to mitigate COVID-19's spread. Although in many cases these views of COVID-19 were also associated with political ideology, this association was significantly stronger for Whites than Blacks. Continued investigation of racial disparities in COVID-19's impact is necessary; however, these preliminary findings of a race-by-ideology interaction are important because they suggest some racial disparities are restricted to conservatives, while more liberal Whites and Blacks exhibit few differences.