71 Percent of Black Americans Say Health Care Access Is Reason for Higher COVID-19 Hospitalization

A majority of Black adults in the United States say a major reason why Black people have been hospitalized for COVID-19 at a higher rate than other racial groups is because of health care access.

Seventy-one percent of of Black Americans, the highest percentage from a recent Pew Research Center survey, agreef that a primary factor behind higher coronavirus hospitalization rates among Black people is less access to adequate health care. About 61 percent of Asians, 45 percent of Hispanic Americans, and 45 percent of whites also felt the same way.

In the same survey, along partisan lines, only 25 percent of Republicans agreed that Black people being "less likely to have access to adequate health care" was a major reason behind higher hospitalization and death rates--while about 70 percent of Democrats concurred with that reasoning.

The Pew data found Americans overall were split on why Black people are hospitalized more frequently, with pre-existing health conditions and living in more densely populated areas topping the list. But the largest share of Black adults said they believe the biggest factor is access to adequate health care services.

According to the survey, the highest percentage of Americans (63 percent) from any racial or ethnic background said a major reason behind higher Black hospitalization rates for COVID-19 patients is because black people are "more likely to live in densely populated areas." About 23 percent of Americans said that was a "minor reason," and 14 percent said that was not a reason at all.

Just over half of Americans, 52 percent, said a major reason is Black people are "more likely to have other health conditions that put them at risk," but one-quarter of Americans rejected that as a possible factor, explained the Pew study.

Two-thirds of Republicans said "people's choices and lifestyles" were behind higher hospitalization rates, compared to just 34 percent who said it's tied to "circumstances beyond people's control."

About 62 percent of Black adults said a major factor behind higher COVID-19 hospitalization and death rates is that Black people are more likely to work in industries that require contact with the public.

The Pew survey follows a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study that found Black people who tested positive for COVID-19 are far more likely to be hospitalized than white Americans. The CDC said non-Hispanic Black persons are five times more likely than white people to be hospitalized or die as a result of COVID-19.

Newsweek reached out to the CDC for any additional remarks about the study Saturday afternoon.

black americans hospitalization rate survey
Two-thirds of Black adults in the United States say a major reason why Black people are hospitalized for COVID-19 at a higher rate than other racial groups is a higher likelihood of having pre-existing health conditions. ARTURO HOLMES / Staff/Getty Images