Aug 4, 2021 - Health

America's pandemic pessimism returns

Data: Harris Poll; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Harris Poll; Chart: Axios Visuals

A majority of Americans now, once again, say the worst of the pandemic is yet to come, per new Harris polling provided exclusively to Axios.

Why it matters: We took a brief hiatus from worrying about the pandemic, but the Delta variant and the response to it appear to have sent us back to a dark place.

What they're saying: “It’s clear we are still far from ‘Mission Accomplished’ on COVID," said Harris Poll CEO John Gerzema.

  • On June 6th, when vaccines were widely available, more than three-quarters of respondents said they thought that the worst is behind us.
  • Today only 46% of respondents feel the same way — a drop of 10 points from last week alone.

Reality check: The pessimists are probably right, but Americans won't all feel Delta's effect equally.

  • The unvaccinated remain at much higher risk of infection and severe disease than people who have received their shots.
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