NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — New research is showing the recent delta surge is creating financial hardships for families and more divide, especially in communities of color.
The poll from NPR, Harvard, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shows more than a third of households have faced financial problems in the past few months.
Experts are learning the disparity exists not only with race, but also income.
For communities of color, more than 50 percent of Latino, Black and Native American households are seeing these hardships.
Those making $50,000 or less a year are also facing serious problems. Data shows lower income and racial and ethnic minorities tend to have jobs that may be cutting hours because of the delta surge.
These families are also having to make difficult decisions when it comes to their health.
One in five households have delayed medical care for a serious illness, which in turn can lead to more issues down the road.
"I really can't think of anything more tragic than lifting a family, out of poverty for one year and then plunging them right back in. I think right now Congress has this incredible opportunity in front of it," said Avenel Joseph with Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
"As it debates what and whether and how much of these programs that they continue to extend so many of them are critical for allowing a family and a household to thrive," Johnson said.