Aug 6, 2020 - Health

Majority of Americans say states reopened too quickly during pandemic

Two medical professional test a man for the coronavirus with a swab

Photo: Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald/Getty Images

About 69% of U.S. adults said they worry that states reopened too quickly as the country continues to confront the coronavirus pandemic, according to a national survey released Thursday by Pew Research Center.

The big picture: Almost three-quarters of American adults said the economy would fare better if the government focused on reducing infections so consumers were more comfortable visiting restaurants and retailers. Roughly six in 10 respondents said the U.S.'s response to the pandemic has been less effective compared to other wealthy nations around the world.

The other side:

  • 30% of those surveyed said they were concerned that states have been too slow to lift lockdown restrictions.
  • 26% of U.S. adults said the country is better off reopening businesses and schools even if the rate of infections doesn't slow.

Republicans and Democrats held vastly different opinions about nearly all aspects of the pandemic.

  • Republicans generally view the country's pandemic response in a more positive light, though only 22% said the U.S. has handled the pandemic more effectively than other wealthy nations.
  • 87% of Democrats and left-leaning survey respondents said the U.S. has been less effective in its response to the coronavirus than other wealthy countries.

Of note: Nearly 60% of Americans said the reason the number of confirmed coronavirus cases is going up is that there are more new infections, not just increased testing.

  • President Trump has said testing is "overrated" and it has led to an uptick in confirmed cases in the U.S. that "makes us look bad."

Methodology: The Pew Research Center surveyed 11,001 adults on July 27-Aug 2 with a margin of error of 1.5 percentage points.

Go deeper