More than two-thirds of Americans – 68 per cent – are concerned about their respective states being reopened too quickly in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, and with a growing partisan divide, according to a new poll from Pew Research Center.
Pew asked respondents which was their greater worry: opening up too soon or leaving restrictions in place too long. Nearly a third (31 per cent) view restrictions not being lifted quickly enough as the greater concern.
Republicans are increasingly becoming more likely to see not opening up quickly enough as a greater concern while Democrats remain steadfast in the worry that states will reopen too quickly.
As some states begin reopening at the urging of President Donald Trump, tensions are rising with Americans worried that this will increase cases in the US and lead to a “second wave” of increased coronavirus cases.
“Will some people be affected badly? Yes,” Mr Trump said on Tuesday.
“But we have to get our country open, and we have to get it open soon.”
The President has received push back from some Democratic governors while others, such as Republican Govs. Brian Kemp of Georgia and Ron DeSantis of Florida have followed Mr Trump’s urgings to reopen, with some resistance from residents of the states.
The number of Americans who say they’re concerned about restrictions being lifted too quickly are about the same as in an early April Pew poll, but with a slight partisan shift – Republicans and Republican-leaning independents are expressing more concern that restrictions would be left in place too long.
In May’s poll, 53 per cent of Republicans said leaving restrictions in place too long was their greater worry, up from 48 per cent in April.
Democrats and Democratic-leaners have moved in the opposite direction and are more concerned they will be lifted too quickly – 87 per cent say they are more worried about restrictions being lifted too quickly versus 81 per cent in early April
The shift on the Republican side has been concentrated among those who call themselves conservative.
Just over three out of five (61 per cent) conservatives are worried the restrictions won’t be lifted quickly enough versus 38 per cent among those Republicans and Republican-leaners who consider themselves moderate or liberal.
An ABC News/Ipsos poll out on this morning found similar results to the Pew poll, with almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of those polled saying that “opening the country now is not worth it because it will mean more lives being lost” compared to only 34 per cent who would prefer to open the country to keep economic damage to a minimum.
Nine in 10 Democrats (92 per cent) say not to reopen, while 35 per cent of Republicans agree.
When asked about the restrictions in place in their local area, according to the Pew poll, about half of Americans say the local restrictions are about right (48 per cent) while 27 per cent say there should be more restrictions in place where they live and 24 per cent say there should be fewer restrictions where they live.
Among Republicans and Republican-leaners, 44 per cent say there should be fewer restrictions, 39 per cent think the current restrictions are about right and 16 per cent want to see more restrictions.
Among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, 56 per cent say the current restrictions are about right, 35 per cent want to see more restrictions and just 8 per cent say there should be fewer.
The poll from the Pew Research Center was conducted April 29 through May 5 among a random national sample of 10,957 adults surveyed online. Results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 1.4 percentage points.
The ABC News/Ipsos poll was conducted May 6 through 7 among a random national sample of 532 adults surveyed online. Results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.
Coronavirus: what you need to know
What is the difference between COVID-19 and the flu?
The symptoms of COVID-19 and the flu are very similar, as they both can cause fever and respiratory issues.
Both infections are also transmitted the same way, via coughing or sneezing, or by contact with hands, surfaces or objects contaminated with the virus.
The speed of transmission and the severity of the infection are the key differences between COVID-19 and the flu.
The time from infection to the appearance of symptoms is typically shorter with the flu. However, there are higher proportions of severe and critical COVID-19 infections.
What is social distancing?
Social distancing involved minimising contact with people and maintaining a distance of over one metre between you and others.
When practicing social distancing, you should avoid public transport, limit non-essential travel, work from home and skip large gatherings.
It is okay to go outdoors. However, when you do leave home, avoid touching your face and frequently wash your hands.
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