Editor’s Note (5/20/2020): This article includes findings from our second wave of data collection that fielded April 14 through April 22. This second wave collected another 1,000 completes using a census-balanced, national non-probability sample. The new information, shared below, examines American perceptions of public health and the economy—and what has changed since our first wave of data collection at the end of March. Learn more about the ICF COVID-19 Monitor Survey of U.S. Adults.
Public health concerns still outweighed economic ones—American sentiment changed very little in April.
In March, an overwhelming 79% of Americans reported that public health benefits were either somewhat or much more important than the economic costs. In April, this percentage remained relatively unchanged at 78%.
In April, Americans were in no greater rush to reopen non-essential businesses.
Despite being in the second month of lockdown, Americans were not clamoring to see non-essential businesses reopen in April. In a further sign that Americans were more concerned about public health than the economy, support for keeping non-essential businesses closed for a month or longer—or until public health can be assured—was 63%, staying essentially unchanged in April compared to March.
Watch this space
How will public perception change as the pandemic continues? How will American views of public health and the economy be impacted by the reopening of non-essential businesses in some states? We will continue to report key findings from our ongoing data collection efforts over the coming weeks and share this information with public health officials in support of their response to COVID-19.
Read other insights in the ICF COVID-19 Monitor Survey of U.S. Adults series.