DC’s WASHINGTON A new high of 44% of Americans, who previously said the epidemic had ended, now agree that the COVID-19 situation in the U.S. is improving. Since July, when optimism was decreasing despite an increase in cases, both readings have increased by double digits.
Weekly COVID-19 cases are already below July levels, and 65% of American citizens now agree that the epidemic is improving, an increase of 24 percentage points over data from February and April. Additionally, 11% of Americans believe the situation is becoming worse, while 24% believe it is staying about the same.
Gallup began tracking public opinions of the coronavirus situation monthly in 2021 and weekly for much of 2020, and started doing so every three months this year.
Even while the situation has significantly improved, the present opinion, according to a survey conducted from October 11 to 19, is not quite as hopeful as it was in May and June 2021, when 84% and 89% of American adults, respectively, felt the situation was improving. Changes in infection rates have been closely correlated with perceptions of the pandemic’s direction.
Since June 2021, Gallup has surveyed Americans on a regular basis to determine whether they believe the pandemic is finished. An 11-point rise on the metric is found in the most recent version of Gallup’s probability-based COVID-19 web panel tracking survey.
The poll was done not long after President Joe Biden stated that “the pandemic is gone” in an interview with “60 Minutes” on September 18. Americans’ perception that the pandemic is finally coming to an end has increased, which may be at least somewhat attributable to his statement, which caught health authorities in his government off guard.
Partisans’ Pandemic Views Continue to Diverge, but All See Improvement
Since July, Americans across the board, including rises of 12 points among Republicans, 14 points among Democrats, and 10 points among independents, are more likely to believe that the pandemic is finished. Republicans, on the other hand, are the only party where a majority believes the pandemic is gone. Republicans are more inclined to agree with this than Democrats are, 73% to 21%, while 48% of independents do. Biden has stated that he thinks the pandemic is finished, but 79% of his party’s supporters do not agree.
76% of Republicans and 61% of Democrats concur that the coronavirus situation is improving, constituting a majority view. Independents are overwhelmingly in agreement that things are getting better (62%). After cases were down from the January rise in infections, all three categories have approximately returned to the levels previously seen in February and April.
Ratings of U.S. Leaders’ COVID-19 Communication at or Near Low Points
President Joe Biden, according to one-third of American adults, has made plain his strategy for dealing with COVID-19. This is the lowest rating for Biden on record and is a drop of eight points from the most recent reading in late 2021.
Currently, 30% of Americans—an eight-point drop from the previous reading—agree that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has conveyed a clear plan.
A clear COVID-19 plan has been communicated by the governor of their own state, according to 38% of American adults, the lowest percentage for the trend and a drop of 4 percentage points from 2021. Democratic governors (40%), in comparison to their Republican counterparts (35%), receive slightly higher readings.
The percentage of respondents who gave a 4 or 5 rating on a five-point scale, which represents agreement that each business had clearly stated its proposal, served as the basis for this data.
Compared to Biden and state governors, Americans have consistently been less inclined to say that the CDC has communicated clearly. Donald Trump’s approval ratings during his time as president were comparable to the CDC ratings.
Since last year, Democrats’ opinions of all three parties’ communication have declined more than those of Republicans or independents. By the end of 2021, the majority of Democrats concurred that the CDC, Biden, and the governor of their state had all clearly conveyed a plan of action in response to COVID-19. Since then, Democrats’ approval of Biden has dropped by 15 points to 59%, the CDC’s approval has dropped by 13 points to 47%, and governors’ approval has dropped by seven points to 45%.
Republicans’ opinions of the three organizations were quite low in 2021, and they did not greatly improve in the most recent poll. Independents’ readings for Biden and the CDC both fell slightly to 24%.
Nevertheless, Democrats are rated better overall than Republicans and independents.
Democrats’ ratings of Biden’s communication about COVID-19 are not closely related to their view of whether they think the pandemic is over. That is, Democrats who think the pandemic is over are only slightly more likely than those who do not to agree that the president has communicated a clear plan about COVID-19.
Republicans have been encouraging more Americans to believe that the pandemic is finished, but Democrats are mainly of the opposite opinion.
Since July, more Americans—about two-thirds—including majorities of Democrats and Republicans—say that the COVID-19 pandemic situation is improving.
Democrats still have high job approval ratings for the president, despite a decline in his rating for communicating a clear plan in response to the pandemic. This suggests that Democrats’ overall opinions of the president are not significantly impacted by the president’s pandemic messaging. However, the CDC, governors, and the president may need to improve their communication strategies given how slowly the new bivalent COVID-19 booster is being used in the United States.