A food bank distribution line in Brooklyn, New York. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Americans are experiencing an increase in anxiety and depression amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a Census Bureau survey cited by the Washington Post.

Why it matters: The findings indicate a significant uptick in clinical anxiety and depression since the onset of the virus. Despite communities and economies reopening, the COVID-19 outbreak is far from over.

Details: The Census Bureau initiated an emergency weekly survey of U.S. households starting at the end of April to evaluate the impact of the coronavirus on education, employment, finances, health and housing. 1 million households were contacted between May 7-12, with over 42,000 respondents per the most recent data.

  • 24% of the survey's respondents, showed signs of major depressive disorder three months into the so-called new normal, when asked questions typically used for screening patients for mental health problems. 30% of respondents indicated some generalized anxiety disorder.
  • Symptoms were more frequent among young people, women and low-income individuals.
  • Results also varied by region. Iowa, for example, tallied 26% of its population showing symptoms, while Mississippi counted 48%.

Between the lines: The Trump administration has used mental health concerns to justify reopening the nation's economy.

  • At a briefing Tuesday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said: "[President Trump] always listened to the science ... Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx said 'you need to shut down the economy.' That was hard for the president. You know, in a typical year, 120,000 people die of suicide and drug overdose. And that's in a typical year."
  • "And doctors have said when you shut down an economy for an extended period of time, that number gets greater," she added.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Sep 2, 2020 - Health

America's botched coronavirus response foretells a dark future

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

America's failures in handling the coronavirus pandemic bode ill for our ability to deal with climate change and other threats that loom on the horizon.

Why it matters: America's ongoing struggles with the coronavirus have caused tremendous human and economic pain. But what should worry us for future disasters that could be far worse is the way the pandemic has exposed deep political divisions and a disinformation ecosystem that muddies even the hardest facts.

Updated Sep 18, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Though health workers represent less than 3% of the population in many countries, they account for around 14% of the coronavirus cases reported to the World Health Organization, WHO announced Thursday.

Why it matters: The WHO called on governments and health care leaders to address threats facing the health and safety of these workers, adding that the pandemic has highlighted how protecting them is needed to ensure a functioning health care system.

Colleges drive a new wave of coronavirus hotspots

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Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Note: Washington state case count does not include Sept. 1; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

America’s brief spurt of progress in containing the coronavirus has stalled out.

Why it matters: We had a nice little run of improvement over the past month or so, but cases are now holding steady at a rate that’s still far too high to consider the outbreak under control.