How Americans’ Feelings About the Pandemic are Evolving


Facing a crisis usually brings the nation together.

I recall in the days and weeks after 9/11, no one belonged to this party or that party — no, we were all just Americans. We identified as such as we all faced the same enemy. So far with the coronavirus, it does not quite seem like we are reacting to this threat the same way, but perhaps things are changing somewhat.

The Navigator, a progressive research group that produces fantastic reports periodically that do a deep dive on a national issue and finds the messages that resonate the most, has started a new project where they are tracking public opinion every three days on issues around the pandemic.

Takeaways from the most recent updates

The top takeways from yesterday’s update are that 1) Americans are increasingly worried about the impact of coronavirus on their own health and public health, and 2) Ratings of Trump’s handling of coronavirus remain mixed for the fourth straight update.

Another very interesting data point is that Americans are growing increasingly worried about their own health (and the health of their family) and are less worried about the financial impact the pandemic will have on them personally.

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That said, Americans are still very worried about the economic impact as the virus forces businesses to stay closed across the country. There are some pretty significant differences in how much people are worried, by race:

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When it comes to how Democrats, Independents, and Republicans feel Trump is doing, there are pretty obvious differences, but once you ask each of those groups how they feel about the strength of the economy, suddenly it isn’t all sunshine and roses for the Republicans.

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What to do with this information

I encourage you to bookmark this report for The Navigator’s report, which you can do HERE, and check in on the latest data from time to time.

The Navigator exists to help shape and frame policy debates so that those of us on the left who are arguing for various policy solutions or trying to convince people to take action have good data on our side. For those of you who are interested in health as a political issue, these reports give you good information to take to your legislators to demand that they take action, or even in your conversations online as you encourage your social media followers to help amplify an action you want them to take.

As one example, there is clearly work our legislators need to do to convince more Americans to take this virus seriously. That they cannot let up with the social distancing yet — the worst is most certainly yet to come.

Let me know if you have any questions about these reports. I’ll do my best to answer them.

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5 replies

  1. Thank you for this. Just bookmarked it. The Fox News crowd certainly sees the world from a different lens.

  2. Very interesting info … thanks! Like Jeff said, the Fox viewers have an entirely different perspective than the rest of the world. What a surprise, eh?

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