With President Donald Trump moving to restart the economy in the midst of a pandemic that is putting heavy pressure on every link in the U.S. health system, addressing the impact of the coronavirus has begun to splinter along partisan lines, with a chorus of conservative voices — including that of the president — adamant that a full-throated response to the health emergency at the expense of the economy is more threatening than the emergency itself.
But voters are far more concerned about public health than damage to the economy, and most are willing to commit to social distancing measures for as long as it takes, according to new Morning Consult data.
Just over 4 in 5 voters believe Americans should continue to practice social distancing for as long as necessary to curb the spread of the coronavirus – even if it means continued damage to the economy. The survey, conducted March 24-26 among 1,990 registered voters has a margin of error of 2 percentage points.
On Thursday, the White House told governors to expect new guidelines on “maintaining, increasing or relaxing social distancing” for individual counties, based on their threat level. According to the letter, counties will be designated as high, medium or low risk.
The poll suggests the president’s belief that the cure cannot “be worse than the problem itself” is not shared with the public, even as Americans bear witness to unemployment rising to historic levels.