Questions and answers about
the economy.

Covid-19 health messaging to underserved communities

In the US, recent statistics show that African American and Latinx communities bear a disproportionate burden from Covid-19. Reaching vulnerable and underserved populations is therefore crucial to combating the disease. However, most public messaging campaigns are not targeted toward underserved communities and don’t address fears of social stigma, mistrust in the healthcare system, or concerns about immigration status. To tackle these issues, we are conducting a randomized experiment in which a racially and ethnically-diverse set of doctors from Massachusetts General Hospital will record video messages that we will send to a large sample of diverse individuals across the US. Messages will emphasize health promoting behaviors but some experimental variants will also grapple with the disproportionate burden of Covid-19 among minority populations and the perceived stigma of wearing masks in public. We will test which messengers and which types of messages are most effective at providing information, encouraging health seeking behavior, and inducing health-preserving practices. We plan to disseminate results as soon as possible.

Lead investigator:

Marcella Alsan


Harvard University

Primary topic:

Health, physical & mental

Region of data collection:

North America

Country of data collection


Status of data collection


Type of data being collected:


Unit of real-time data collection