Strong concern over second wave of coronavirus infections reinforces widespread American opposition to reopening public places, new poll finds, as many heads of state step up efforts to revive life before the pandemic.
However, support for public health restrictions imposed to control the spread of the virus is no longer overwhelming. It has been eroded in the past month by a growing partisan divide, with Democrats being more cautious and Republicans less anxious as President Donald Trump urges states to “open up our country,” says new Associated Press poll. -NORC Center for Public Business Research.
Survey finds that 83% of Americans are at least somewhat concerned that lifting restrictions in their area will lead to additional infections, with 54% being very or very concerned that such measures will dramatically increase COVID-19.
About eight in ten Americans said it was essential to reopen for people to return to self-quarantine if they were exposed to the virus. About six in 10 people also said that widespread screening for coronavirus in their area was essential for restoring public activity, as well as forcing people to stand six feet apart in most places and to wear face masks when they are near other people outside their home.
Almost as revealing as the public’s appetite for rigorous precautions: almost half said it was essential that a vaccine be available before public life resumed. Another third said it was important, but not essential.
Overall, the results suggest that, while some Americans were anxious to resume business as usual, most did not see the country return to anything that was once considered normal. Instead, the Americans largely envisioned a long period of physical distancing, covered faces, and intermittent quarantines to come, perhaps until a vaccine was available.
The last AP-NORC survey was carried out over the past weekend. He found that a solid majority of about six in ten Americans were in favor of requiring people to stay at home, except for essential shopping, with about a third of the country strongly behind this approach.
Although still resolved, support for such measures to contain the coronavirus has declined in the past month – 80% were in favor of home stay orders in April. The new survey found that 69% of respondents now prefer to limit gatherings to 10 people or less, down from 82% in April.
These declines are largely due to changes in attitude among Republicans, as Trump and several GOP governors have aggressively lobbied to move forward with the reopening of businesses and public places.
Only 45 percent of Republicans said they were in favor of home support orders, while about as many opposed them. A month ago, 70% of Republicans supported them. Among Democrats, 78% are in favor of home care orders, compared to 91% in April.
Only about a third of Republicans say they are very or extremely concerned about the possibility of further infections if the restrictions are lifted, compared to three-quarters of Democrats.