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Saturday, September 23, 2023

Covid-19: Americans prioritise protecting public health over economy

By a margin of more than 5-to-1, Americans say stopping the spread of the coronavirus (84%) is more important than stopping the decline in the economy (16%).

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump of the US

According to a national study on “American Public Responses to COVID-19” conducted recently by the Centre for Climate Change Communication of the George Mason University Fairfax, Virginia, large majorities of Americans across all demographic groups prioritise public health over the economy, including those who have been laid off or are seeking work, and Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, including 2016 Trump voters.

The study found that Americans want more action to limit the epidemic, as majorities think that citizens themselves, the U.S. Congress, and President Donald Trump should be doing more to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

“More than one in three Americans think that President Trump (38%) and citizens themselves (36%) should be doing ‘much more’ to limit its spread,” disclosed the report, which also revealed that, besides expecting the epidemic and the economy to worsen, Americans crave more information, and trust particular sources of information.

“As of April 7, 2020, most Americans expect that both the spread of the coronavirus and its negative impacts on the economy will get worse over the next month.

“While, 64% think the epidemic will get ‘much worse’ (25%) or ‘worse’ (39%), 70% think the economy will get ‘much worse’ (28%) or ‘worse’” (42%),” disclosed the study.

Concerning desire for more information, it stated: “About 94% of Americans say they have been following the news about the coronavirus either ‘very’ (63%) or ‘fairly’ (30%) closely.

“However, many Americans say they need more information about the coronavirus. About eight in 10 say they need either ‘a little’ (22%), ‘some’ (35%), or ‘a lot’ more information (25%).

“African Americans, liberal/moderate Republicans, and people living in urban areas are more likely than other Americans to say they need ‘a lot more information’.”

The report further disclosed that about nine in 10 Americans trust health professionals – doctors, infectious disease experts, the U.S. Centres for Disease Control (CDC), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) – as sources of accurate information about the spread of the coronavirus.

“Large majorities of Americans also trust local news outlets (TV and newspapers) and national news networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) as sources of accurate information about the coronavirus.

“More than half of Americans trust their members of Congress and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, while fewer Americans trust President Trump, as a source of accurate information about the coronavirus,” according to the study.

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