Study: Black Americans most interested in COVID-19 news

Dr. Ala Stanford administers a COVID-19 swab test on Wade Jeffries in the parking lot of Pinn Memorial Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Wednesday, April 22, 2020. Stanford and other doctors formed the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium to offer testing and help address heath disparities in the African American community. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Dr. Ala Stanford administers a COVID-19 swab test on Wade Jeffries in the parking lot of Pinn Memorial Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Wednesday, April 22, 2020. Stanford and other doctors formed the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium to offer testing and help address heath disparities in the African American community. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

(AP) – Black Americans, who have suffered disproportionately from the coronavirus, have shown a more intense interest in news about the pandemic compared to whites.

Those were the consistent findings in a Pew Research Center survey taken in late April when COVID-19 was dominating the news.

For example, 26% of blacks reported discussing the virus “almost all the time” with others, compared to 10% of whites who say that.

Forty-eight percent of blacks told Pew they were closely following news about the local availability of coronavirus tests, compared to 25 % of whites. Similarly, almost half of black people questioned (47%) said they were following stories about local hospitals closely, while a quarter of whites (24%) said the same thing.

Roughly half of blacks had an intense interest in the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths, with 34% of whites saying the same thing.

“The differences in these data are particularly striking,” said Amy Mitchell, director of journalism research at Pew.

According to current CDC death statistics, 23% of the Americans who have died from COVID-19 deaths were black, though blacks make up only about 13% of the U.S. population. About 53% of COVID-19 fatalities were white, though whites make up about 60% of the U.S. population

The margin of error in Pew’s American News Pathways Project is plus or minus 1.5%.