As reopening begins, Americans concerns about COVID-19 may be easing, poll finds

As reopening begins, Americans concerns about COVID-19 may be easing, poll finds

As President Donald Trump encourages the country to resume economic activity amid the coronavirus outbreak, Americans' concerns that a family member could contract the illness have eased compared to a month ago, according to a Monmouth University poll published Monday.

Forty-two percent of Americans said they were "very concerned" that someone in their family could become seriously ill from COVID-19 and 28% said they were "somewhat concerned."

Those numbers were down from 50% and 33%, respectively, in Monmouth's April survey. Fourteen percent said they were "not too concerned" and 16% said they were "not at all concerned," which were up from 9% and 7% the month before.

When asked how the pandemic had affected them personally, 56% said it had a "major impact" (down from 62% in April), 31% said it has a "minor impact" (up from 27%) and 13% said it had "no impact" (up from 10%).

"Concern about Covid seems to have returned to where it was in the early days of the public response to the pandemic in this country," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

The easing concern comes even as the percentage of Americans saying they knew someone who had become infected rose from 26% in April to 40%.

Virtually every governor has eased in at least some form the restrictions they put in place to slow the spread of the virus. A majority have lifted stay-at-home orders, or never imposed them to begin with.

Americans were split, 50%-50%, when asked if they were confident the country would be able to manage the outbreak as it reopens in the coming weeks.

Trump has encouraged governors to accelerate their reopenings as the lockdowns have stifled the economy and sent the unemployment rate soaring. He has expressed support for protesters objecting to the measures, even where governors are adhering to guidelines put out by his own administration, and on Monday he accused Democrats of dragging their feet for political gain.

"The great people of Pennsylvania want their freedom now, and they are fully aware of what that entails," the president said in a tweet. " The Democrats are moving slowly, all over the USA, for political purposes. They would wait until November 3rd if it were up to them. Don’t play politics. Be safe, move quickly!"

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, in turn, said Trump was playing politics with the pandemic, accusing the president of "deflecting blame and dividing Americans."

"His goal is as obvious as it is craven: He hopes to split the country into dueling camps, casting Democrats as doomsayers hoping to keep America grounded and Republicans as freedom fighters trying to liberate the economy," Biden wrote in a Washington Post op-ed. "It’s a childish tactic – and a false choice that none of us should fall for."

The poll reflected the ideological split that has emerged over the coronavirus. While an equal percentage (27%) of Democrats and Republicans said they were "somewhat concerned" about a family member getting ill, 25% of Republicans said they were "very concerned," compared with 38% of independents and 60% of Democrats.

More Republicans (21%) said they were "not too concerned" about the possibility than independents (12%) or Democrats (10%). And while 25% of Republicans were "not at all concerned," 19% of independents and 3% of Democrats said the same.

The response all fell along racial lines, as the outbreak has taken a more severe toll on minority communities. While 34% of whites said they were "very concerned" about someone in their family contracting COVID-19, that number was 55% among minority respondents.

The number of Americans saying they have been hurt economically by the outbreak was almost unchanged from the previous Monmouth survey. Twenty-three percent described themselves as "struggling" compared with 63% who said "stable," and 40% said they had suffered a loss in income. And 23% said they have struggled to pay their bills. Twenty-six percent said at least one person in their household had been laid off because of the outbreak.

But 91% of Americans said they were still hopeful (63% of them "very hopeful") that their lives would return to normal when the outbreak is over.

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/05/11/coronavirus-concerns-easing-poll/3107999001/

News Related

ORTHER NEWS

Trump’s ‘mission accomplished’ moment is premature and deadly. We have not defeated COVID.

Desperate for crowds and adoration, Trump has put his most fervent supporters at risk of getting a deadly disease. Future historians will be astonished. Read more »

NFLPA president JC Tretter says NFL is putting season, players at risk with its coronavirus approach

NFL Players Association president JC Tretter said Tuesday the NFL is putting the 2020 season at risk with its coronavirus approach, calling on the league to better “prioritize player safety.” “Like many other... Read more »

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says he tested positive for the coronavirus

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro says he has tested positive for COVID-19 after months of downplaying the virus’ severity. Bolsonaro confirmed the test results while wearing a mask and... Read more »

Venice Film Festival forges ahead amid COVID-19 pandemic with reduced lineup

The show will go on for the Venice Film Festival in September, but with a few modifications due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers said Tuesday that they are pushing forward with plans for... Read more »

Amtrak offers buy-one, get-one promotion on its sleeper trains amid COVID-19 — with a catch

Amtrak wants you to have sweet dreams the next time you travel — so much so that it’s sweetening the deal on its sleeper “roomettes.” The rail service is offering a buy-one-get-one-free discount... Read more »

Florida teen treated with hydroxychloroquine at home before dying of COVID-19, report says

FORT MEYERS, Fla. – The family of a 17-year-old Florida girl who died last month from COVID-19 treated her symptoms at home for nearly a week before taking her to a hospital, a... Read more »

Mookie Betts worried MLB coronavirus testing woes could prevent him from ever playing for Dodgers

During nearly four months away from the game, Mookie Betts said he “stayed away from baseball to keep myself sane.” It’s not hard to understand why. The 2018 American League Most Valuable Player... Read more »

Tom Hanks doesn’t get ‘how common sense has somehow been put into question’ with coronavirus

Read more »

Can Gov. DeSantis force Florida schools to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic? Some school leaders seem doubtful.

PALM BEACH, Fla. — As concern about the state order spread online, some school leaders said: Not so fast. As Florida educators puzzle over how to start the new academic year, Gov. Ron... Read more »

Texas surpasses 200,000 coronavirus cases after 4th of July holiday weekend

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas reached 200,000 total COVID-19 cases Monday, just 17 days after crossing the 100,000 threshold, a figure that took the state nearly four months to hit. The grim milestone came... Read more »