June 1, 2020 – A majority of Americans questioned in a recent poll said that curbing the coronavirus is more important than trying to restart the economy.
The Washington Post-ABC News poll of 1,001 people broke down 57% to 37% on that question.
Differences of opinion emerged based on race and gender. The poll found 77% of blacks and also Hispanics said stopping the spread of the virus was more important, compared to 49% of whites. Sixty-six percent of women favor curbing the virus, compared to 48% of men.
The poll found a partisan divide, with 81% of Democrats saying curbing the coronavirus is more important than restarting the economy and 59% of independents saying the same. Among people identifying as Republican, 66% favored trying to restart the economy.
When asked a related question – if they’re willing to go to stores, restaurants and public places — 58% of all respondents said it’s too early. Forty percent said they’re willing to go.
“Impacts of the pandemic are vast,” said a summary of the poll. “Seventy-nine percent in this national survey say their lives have been disrupted. Fifty-nine percent report severe economic impacts in their community – up from 43 percent two months ago. Among those employed before the pandemic began, 24 percent have been laid off or furloughed.”
Economic problems were found across the board. Reporting severe economic impact were 61% of blacks, 60% of whites and 54% of Hispanics.
The spread of the coronavirus is apparent in the findings. The poll found 42% of people now personally know someone diagnosed with the virus, up from 11% in March.
More than 1.7 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the United States, and more than 102,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The poll found widespread personal anxiety, with almost 70% saying they fear a second wave of the coronavirus.
Governors got better grades than President Trump for how they’re handling the response to the coronavirus. Forty-six percent said they approved of Trump’s responses, and 66% said they approved of their governor’s job.
Langer Research conducted the poll by landline and cellular telephone May 25-28 in English and Spanish among a random national sample of 1,001 adults. The results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points.