Data: Ipsos/Axios survey, margin of error of ±3.2 percentage points; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Most Americans say they doubt the U.S. death count — but whether they think it's actually higher or lower depends on whether they're Democrats or Republicans, according to the latest installment of the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: This may be the most jarring evidence to date about just how deeply partisanship has infected our collective ability to trust institutional sources and agree on science and facts. Trust in government is abstract, but death counts are real.

  • People whose primary news source is the Fox News channel are most likely to say that U.S. deaths attributed to coronavirus are inflated.

Week 8 of our national weekly survey also finds trust in the federal government slipping to new lows, across party lines.

  • Trust in state governments dropped most in Florida, Georgia and Texas — where governors pushed fast re-openings — and held highest in California, New York and New Jersey, where governors resisted.

What they're saying: "How people are actually processing information and assigning credibility to it is 100% partisan," said Cliff Young, president of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs.

By the numbers: New findings give us a glimpse into how Americans are thinking about the longer-term impacts of the virus on summer vacations, the next school year and people in need.

  • 47% say they've cancelled summer plans, such as camp or a vacation rental.
  • 58% say they're concerned that schools won't reopen in the fall.
  • 63% say they're concerned about food shortages in the next month.
  • One in five people say they've donated in the last month to charities providing food to those in need; one in 10 donated to charities helping hospitals or health workers.

Between the lines: At the same time, there's some softening around how much risk Americans are attaching to various activities and how much risk they're willing to take.

  • 26% said they visited friends or relatives in the last week, an increase for the second week in a row.
  • Social distancing may break down first not among people rushing back to stores or the office, but those deciding to meet relatives and friends again.
  • "Self-quarantining and social distancing is still in place, but we're getting into full-blown spring and people are beginning to poke their heads out," Young said.

When it comes to the death toll, roughly one in three Americans across party lines say the numbers being attributed to the virus are probably about right. Such partisan agreement evaporates when it comes to the remaining two thirds.

  • A majority of Democrats, around half of independents and one in four Republicans say they think virus-related deaths are being undercounted.
  • Republicans lead the pack among those who instead think the deaths are being over-reported, while fewer than one in 10 Democrats agrees.
  • The question was pegged to a reported 61,000 deaths as of April 30. By Monday, more than 68,000 deaths had been reported in the U.S. and a quarter million around the world.

Reality check: The available data suggests those who believe we're undercounting coronavirus deaths may be right, says Axios health care editor Sam Baker.

  • Many deaths aren't officially attributed to the coronavirus because not enough people have been tested for the virus. Preliminary evidence suggests it has in fact killed thousands more people than official records indicate.
  • Several hard-hit states have seen about 50% more deaths than normal over the past few weeks, per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, and New York City's death rate is about three times higher than normal, per The New York Times.

Be smart: This disagreement over deaths also is playing out in people's declining trust in the federal government to look out for their best interests.

  • Overall trust declined from 53% to 38% from Week 2 through this week.
  • Democrats' trust fell from 42% to 25%.
  • Republicans' trust fell from 74% to 61%.
  • Independents' trust fell to 47% to 33%.
  • 43% of Hispanics, 39% of whites and 28% of African-Americans in the survey say they trust the federal government.

Methodology: This Axios/Ipsos Poll was conducted May 1-4 by Ipsos' KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,012 general population adults age 18 or older.

  • The margin of sampling error is ±3.2 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of adults.

Go deeper:

Americans' worries about leaving their homes are fading

Go deeper

21 hours ago - Science

More young people are getting — and spreading — the coronavirus

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

More young people are being infected with the coronavirus, and even though they're less likely to die from it, experts warn the virus' spread among young adults may further fuel outbreaks across the United States.

Why it matters: Some people in their 20s and 30s face serious health complications from COVID-19, and a surge in cases among young people gives the virus a bigger foothold, increasing the risk of infection for more vulnerable people.

Coronavirus cases rise in 33 states

Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise, Naema Ahmed, Danielle Alberti/Axios

The coronavirus pandemic keeps getting worse, all across the country. Thirty-three states saw their caseloads increase this week, continuing a scary nationwide trend that’s been getting worse since mid-June.

Why it matters: The U.S. is right back in the situation we were afraid of earlier this year, with a rapidly spreading outbreak, strained hospitals, and projections of more than 200,000 deaths by the end of the year.

20 hours ago - Health

Study: Stay-at-home orders may have averted up to 370,000 coronavirus deaths

Protesters opposing the California stay-at-home orders in May. Photo: Stanton Sharpe/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

As many as 250,000 to 370,000 deaths may have been averted between March and May 15 as a result of the statewide stay-at-home orders enacted to mitigate spread of the coronavirus, a study published Thursday in Health Affairs projects.

Why it matters: Lockdown restrictions have largely been lifted, but the coronavirus pandemic keeps getting worse all across the country. New modeling suggests the outbreaks could lead to more than 200,000 deaths by the end of year.