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Black and Hispanic Americans Are More Likely to View Masks as Essential

Minority communities have seen an outsized impact from the pandemic almost from the start. 

Commuters wear protective masks while riding a subway in New York on May 25.

Commuters wear protective masks while riding a subway in New York on May 25.

Photographer: Stephanie Keith/Bloomberg

US Black and Hispanic people, among the groups hardest hit by the pandemic, are more likely than White Americans to see masks and other pandemic precautions as important, even as mandates for airplanes and public spaces disappear.

Those are the findings of a new poll from AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. About 78% of Black people and 62% of Hispanic respondents said it was essential or important to wear masks while in public, indoor spaces, according to the poll. Just 44% of White respondents in the survey of about 1,000 US residents said the same, and Black and Hispanic respondents were also more likely than their White counterparts to say it was critical for people to be tested regularly for Covid.