Notes: The graphs show the percentage of respondents who said are worried about losing their job (top), not being able to afford proper health coverage (middle) and not being able to pay mortgage and other expenses (bottom). Percentages refer to respondents who reported being worried at least 5 on a Likert scale 1 to 10.
Americans living in lower income households are substantially more worried about being unemployed, losing their health-care coverage and not being able to afford mortgage and other expenses. These preliminary analyses are showing how the coronavirus is further exaggerating pre-existing inequalities in the U.S., and how quickly (the survey was administered in the first week of April) the crisis has already hit lower-income Americans.
Finding #4: Americans are mostly supportive of stay-at-home Covid-19 measures, but support is influenced by their sources of COVID-19 information
Survey participants were asked whether they thought the media was exaggerating the gravity of the COVID-19 situation, and in an end-of-survey question were also asked to report which sources of news they relied on to get updates about the coronavirus emergency. By cross-checking these two questions, it is possible to see how different sources of information influence the public’s perception about the gravity of the crisis. About 20 percent of Americans believe that the media is exaggerating the gravity of the COVID-19 situation, compared to 51 percent who believe that the media representation is accurate; 21 percent instead believe the media is underreporting the gravity of the situation, and about 8 percent believes it is spreading false information. Respondents who believe the media is exaggerating the gravity of the situation are somewhat more likely to get their COVID-19 news from President Trump and less likely to get their COVID-19 news from statements by government agencies (e.g. local, state, and federal).
Finding #5: Almost 40 percent of Americans do not believe that the COVID-19 outbreak is the most pressing policy priority in the country for the next 12 months
In the survey, respondents were also asked to select, among a set of options, which one was the most pressing priority in the U.S. in the next 12 months. The options included the coronavirus outbreak, climate change, unemployment, the upcoming presidential elections, immigration, income inequality, and access to health care. For almost 40 percent of Americans, the COVID-19 outbreak was not the top priority in the country for the next 12 months. However, respondents across both political parties shared the same top three priorities – namely, COVID-19, unemployment, and the upcoming presidential elections – while they differed on the order of the less important policy priorities.