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Since late January, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the first known case of COVID-19 in the U.S., pollsters have been busy fielding surveys to measure just how concerned Americans are and what they think about the government’s response to the outbreak. We at FiveThirtyEight are now collecting those polls to give you a better understanding of how Americans are reacting. So if you’re concerned that you or someone you’re close to will be infected with the coronavirus, the data shows that you are not alone.
As you can see in the chart above, the share of Americans who are either “somewhat” or “very” concerned about infection has risen steadily since the virus began rapidly spreading in the U.S. in March.
But economic concerns, at least at the moment, seem to be worrying more Americans, as the impact of the virus on the economy has been staggering so far. In late March, millions of workers filed for unemployment each week — many times more than previous record highs — and as you can see in the next chart, the share of Americans who are “very” concerned about the economy grew dramatically in the second half of the month, as cities and states began to shut down nonessential businesses.
Those economic concerns could play a role in the general election, too, as the way President Trump deals with the pandemic might be a factor in voters’ decisions. Below are all the polls we could find that were conducted since early February and asked Americans whether they approve of the way Trump is handling the crisis.
We also broke the answers down by party, and as you can see, Republicans largely approve of Trump’s response, while Democrats do not and independents fall somewhere in between.
This tracker will update daily with new polling data about Americans’ reactions to the coronavirus pandemic.