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COVID-19 hits Latino, Black and Native American Wallets Harder

By Jim Saksa
and Michael Macagnone
CQ-Roll Call (TNS)

WASHINGTON — The coronavirus has hit people of color harder than white households, causing higher rates of infection, hospitalizations, deaths and, as a new survey has found, financial despair.

Black, Latino and Native American households reported disproportionately high income loss, financial problems and housing insecurity in a poll released Wednesday by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
The poll showed 72% of Latino households, 60% of Black households and 55% of Native American households reported a serious financial problem like using up all of their savings, food insecurity and an inability to pay for housing. For comparison, only 36% of white households said they have faced the same challenges since the pandemic’s start.

“What this survey shows is that the disparate impact is not restricted to health. The economic toll on households of color has been extreme,” Robert Wood Johnson Foundation CEO Richard Besser said. “This is despite hundreds of billions of dollars of federal assistance that has been directed at trying to reduce the economic hold this pandemic has had on people across the country.”

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