Americans’ anxieties over the spread of the novel coronavirus have risen to the highest level in more than a month, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, as the number of cases surged across the country, pushing the death toll to more than 127,000 people.
The June 29-30 public opinion poll found that 81% of American adults said they are “very” or “somewhat” concerned about the pandemic, the most since a similar poll conducted May 11-12.
Concerns appear to be rising the most among members of US President Donald Trump’s Republican Party, who have generally expressed less interest than others in wearing face masks or sheltering at home even as the pandemic has infected more than 2.6 million Americans.
About seven in 10 Republicans said in the latest poll they were personally concerned about the spread of the virus, up from six in 10 Republicans in polls conducted over the past few weeks. About nine in 10 Democrats said they are similarly worried, a level of concern that has not changed over the past few weeks.
The shift in public opinion comes as the number of coronavirus cases soars across the country, especially in states like Arizona, Texas and Florida that were slow to respond to the outbreak and have moved fairly swiftly to reopen their economies. Some of those states are now ratcheting back plans to reopen businesses.