As COVID-19 cases increase across the country, Americans offer some of their most terrible opinions on theto date: record numbers say that efforts against the epidemic are going badly (including new highs that say that efforts are going very badly); President Trump gets top marks for managing the pandemic since it started; and the prospects for the summer are sad. Twice expects the epidemic to get worse, rather than better.
In the South, more people are now saying that things are going wrong than a month ago, and there is growing concern about catching the virus. Other southerners also claim that their state opened too quickly, rather than at the right pace.
The president’s assessment of his management of the epidemic has so far been the most negative. The part of Americans who says he is doing a good job has dropped to the lowest level, and the percentage who says he is doing a bad job is at the highest level.
The masks have effectively taken on a political tinge, expressed both in the party’s interruptions and in relation to the general public. Republicans are less likely to wear one and call the decision a “personal choice”, while most people generally describe the decision to wear a mask as a “public health responsibility”. Democrats and independents are more likely to take this latter point of view.
Gender also plays a role here, as women report wearing masks more often than men.
More generally, Republicans still tend to paint a very different picture of the pandemic: for the most part, the efforts of the United States are going at least a little bit well and the president is doing a good job. They tend to say that their risk is minimal and that national testing is less important for containment. Here, too, personal experience plays a role: Democrats are more likely than Republicans to report knowing someone who has had the virus or to say that their communities are affected.
And so, while Americans see the containment effort as a whole as a public health problem, half also admit that they see it as a political problem, most Republicans, even more than Democrats and independents, also claim to think about the issue. in political terms.
The vast majority say that tests are important
More than eight out of 10 Americans believe that popular tests are important for containing the virus, including six out of 10 who call it very important.
But only 34% think that the Trump administration is trying to get a test for every American who wants it. Plus – 40% – believe that the administration is trying to limit the number of tests or to get tests only for those who need it most (26%).
Again, Republicans feel differently: relatively less Republicans claim that tests are very important compared to the general public, and most Republicans say that the Trump administration is trying to get all Americans tested.
Reopening of states
Four out of 10 say that the pace of reopening their state has been fair. But for others who disagree, there is more concern that states opened too quickly: almost double thinks that their state moved too quickly, rather than too slowly. This is especially true in the South, where 48% believe their state has opened up too quickly, more so than in any other region.
Personal experience also weighs on this measure: Americans who personally know someone who has contracted the virus – and those who say there are many COVID-19 cases in their area – are more likely to think that their state has reopened too much quickly. There are also partisan differences, with Democrats being twice as likely as Republicans to reopen their state too quickly.
When asked if they feel safer or more at risk than ever before, few report feeling safer. Through demographics and partisan lines, there is no group in which the majority does it. Most report having the same risk as before. The percentage of people who are very concerned about getting the virus has increased since the beginning of this month.
In the south, the “very worried” percentage of contracting the virus has increased by nine points since the beginning of June, more than any other region. But as the country as a whole, partisanship plays a role: southern republicans remain far less concerned than southern democrats.
Despite the reopening, many do not crowd in public places: only one in five reports going to as many public places as before the epidemic. This hasn’t changed since the beginning of this month.
While Americans venture out, they still do so with the awareness of certain risks and often out of necessity. Most of those who report going out say they do it because they need or want it, not because they think the health risks are low. Those who claim that their state has opened too quickly are more likely than those who don’t claim to feel more at risk now.
On the whole, opinions on how things are going in the country are downright negative. 76% of Americans say things are going wrong.
And since the virus hit black communities particularly hard, blacks and Hispanics Americans are more likely to report knowing someone who took it – the percentage of blacks who say they or someone they know has been diagnosed with covid has increased since last month. Opinions about the importance of tests are higher among African Americans than the general public.
In recent weeks we have also asked Americans how many people they think died in the United States outbreak. Many (45%) provide a range between 100,000 and 150,000, in line with official data. Those who give other ranges tend to say that it is lower than that (25%), as opposed to greater (16%). As before, Republicans tend to give lower intervals than Democrats.
Masks: where do Americans get their guidance?
Mask wearers are much more concerned about contracting the virus than those who give it up, but the worry of getting it is also strongly related to bias. In small towns, suburbs and big cities, Democrats are more concerned about getting it than Republicans are. More black Americans (61%) than whites (40%) claim to always wear a mask.
We asked people where they got their guide on the opportunity to wear a mask. Americans claim to use their own assessments and that of health and medical professionals more than politicians. This is true for both Democrats and Republicans, and although almost half of Republicans claim to be taking the lead, these Republicans are no less likely to wear masks than other Republicans.
We asked people who claim to wear masks “always” or “most of the time” how they feel when they see others don’t wear one. They said they believed that non-carriers should not worry about spreading or catching the virus (85%), not being at risk (85%) and not being respectful of others (82%). In perhaps another sign of how politics has permeated the problems of viruses in the public mind, almost half of these mask wearers believe that non-wearers are avoiding masks as a sign of support for the president.
We asked those who don’t wear masks what they think of the people who do it. Few have seen wearing a mask as a political statement against the president. Most calculated that mask wearers were concerned about the spread of the virus (70%), that the person might be particularly at risk (68%) – and half, 53%, thought that mask wearers were “exaggerated. “.
This CBS News survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 2,009 adult US residents interviewed between June 23-26, 2020. This sample was weighted by gender, age, race and education in based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the United States Bureau of the Census, as well as the 2016 presidential vote and registration status. The margin of error is ± 2.6 points.