May 18, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Axios-Ipsos poll: 1 in 3 say the pandemic's over

What is your top concern related to COVID-19 right now?
Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Chart: Simran Parwani/Axios

One in three Americans now says the pandemic is over — despite rising cases and hospitalizations — according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

The big picture: Respondents are more concerned about spreading COVID-19 to others or being inconvenienced by restrictions than getting sick or dying.

  • And political affiliation is driving the thinking about how much the federal government should keep spending on the virus.
  • 40% of those surveyed said they're already had COVID.

What they're saying: "There appears to be a relatively small amount of Americans who are feeling any personal sense of risk," said Ipsos pollster and senior vice president Chris Jackson.

  • "Politically, it really demonstrates the ongoing divisions in society about the pandemic and its aftermath."

By the numbers: Overall, 31% of respondents said they believe the pandemic is over, while 69% disagree.

  • 59% of Republicans say it's over, compared to just 27% of independents and 10% of Democrats.
  • 55% of unvaccinated Americans said it's over, compared to just 22% of vaccinated people.
  • 38% of white respondents, 27% of Hispanic respondents and 10% of Black respondents said it's over.

The intrigue: Americans' top COVID concern at the moment is inadvertently spreading it to others at higher risk of serious illness. That's true for 32% of respondents overall — with little difference by political affiliation.

  • It's also true for 38% of Americans under 30 and ages 50-64.
  • The concern is shared by 35% of vaccinated people, but only 22% of unvaccinated people. The top concern among the unvaccinated is dealing with restrictions such as vaccines or mask requirements.
  • Hospitalization remains the top concern for Americans 65 and older.

When it comes to federal spending on COVID, 33% say it's too much, 31% say it's not enough and 35% say it's the right amount.

  • 63% of Republicans say it's too much, compared with 28% of independents and 14% of Democrats.
  • 42% of Democrats, 33% of independents and 15% of Republicans say it's not enough.

Between the lines: Since last month, as cases have been rising, the survey found a slight softening in support for federal, state and local governments lifting all restrictions — now 51%, down from 59%.

What we're watching: In two new questions to the survey, 62% of respondents say they support the idea of local news broadcasts reporting daily on COVID rates in their area — and 57% support the idea of a the federal government funding a single national COVID monitoring system.

  • These numbers suggest majorities of Americans want to stay informed about the data around the virus, even if they aren't inclined to modify their behaviors any longer.

Methodology: This Axios/Ipsos Poll was conducted May 13-16 by Ipsos' KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 982 general population adults age 18 or older.

  • The margin of sampling error is ±3.5 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of adults.
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