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Concern about COVID reaches record low across political spectrum: Survey

Concern about the health threat posed by COVID-19 has reached a record low across the political spectrum, according to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center.

Twenty percent of all Americans in the survey said they think the virus is a “major threat” to “[t]he health of the U.S. population as a whole.” Twelve percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents and 28 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents said the threat posed by the virus to their country was “major.”

The drop in concern about the health threat posed by the coronavirus, as measured by the survey, is drastically different from concern levels two years ago.

In May 2022, 41 percent of Americans said they thought that the COVID-19 pandemic was a “major threat” to “[t]he health of the U.S. population as a whole.” In the same year, 57 percent of surveyed Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents and 20 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said the virus posed a “major threat” to the health of their country, according to Pew.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently stopped recommending that Americans not go to work or school for five days following testing positive for COVID-19. It set forth new guidance recommending people stay home when sick — despite possibly not knowing what is causing their illness — and go back to their regular routine if they feel better and don’t have a fever for at least 24 hours with no medication.

“However, we still must use the commonsense solutions we know work to protect ourselves and others from serious illness from respiratory viruses — this includes vaccination, treatment, and staying home when we get sick,” CDC Director Mandy Cohen said in a statement.

The Pew survey was conducted between Feb. 7-11 and had an overall sample size of 10,133 U.S. adults, with a margin of error of plus or minus 1.5 percentage points.

The sample size for the question on the threat posed by the coronavirus to the U.S. “as a whole” was 5,050 people, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.1 percentage points. The sample size of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents was 4,954 people, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.1 percentage points. The sample size of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents was 5,227 people, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.1 percentage points.

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