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Infographic – Fewer in US See Covid-19 Threat

Chart: Views of Covid-19 threat

(Pew Research Center)

30 July 2022. The percentage of Americans viewing Covid-19 as a major threat to public health is declining, with a majority now saying the disease is a minor or no threat at all. Pew Research Center reported these data earlier this month, from an online survey of U.S. adults conducted in May.

The Pew researchers found only about four in 10 Americans (41%) consider the coronavirus outbreak “a major threat to the U.S. population,” as worded in the survey. A somewhat larger percentage (45%) considers Covid-19 a minor threat, and 13 percent say it’s not a threat. In its previous survey in January 2022, a majority of U.S. adults (57%) characterized Covid-19 as a major health threat, and through most of 2020, roughly two-thirds of American adults — between 63 and 67 percent — rated the outbreak as a major threat.

On other questions in the survey, a majority of U.S. adults (55%) say vaccines are “extremely” or “very” effective at limiting the spread of the coronavirus, while about half, 48 to 49 percent, rate wearing masks indoors or limiting activities or interactions with other people as extremely or very effective. Somewhat fewer, 44 percent, say the wide availability of rapid Covid-19 tests are extremely or very effective at limiting Covid-19 spread. As we’ve seen in other surveys on this topic since the start of the pandemic, Democrats are more positive in rating these public health measures than Republicans.

Pew Research Center conducted the online survey from 2 to 8 May 2022, with 10,282 of 11,674 U.S. adults (88%) taking part in the American Trends Panel, a continuing project of the Center since 2014. Participants are selected to reflect the demographic composition of the U.S., and include individuals without Internet accounts, who are given a tablet and a wireless connection for their responses.

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