By CASEY HARPER
THE CENTER SQUARE SENIOR REPORTER
(The Center Square) — Newly released polling data shows Americans are more pessimistic about COVID-19.
Gallup released survey data Wednesday showing that 41% of Americans think the situation is improving, down from 63% who said the same in early May of this year.
“Americans remain more optimistic than pessimistic about the coronavirus situation in the U.S., but substantially fewer express optimism than did so this spring,” Gallup said. “Thirty percent, up from 15%, say the situation is getting worse, while 29% believe it is staying the same.”
Surveyed Americans are also much less confident in vaccination to protect them from new variants.
“Forty-six percent of Americans are very (6%) or moderately (40%) confident that existing vaccines can protect people from new variants of the virus,” Gallup said. “A year ago, in July 2021, 71% were very or moderately confident that vaccines would protect them from new variants.”
Americans’ sentiment has varied broadly since the pandemic began.
“Americans’ assessments of the COVID-19 situation have varied greatly over the course of the pandemic, typically in response to changes in infection rates throughout the country,” Gallup said. “Optimism was greatest in May and June 2021 when infections were sharply declining and most U.S. adults had gotten, or were getting, COVID-19 vaccinations. In contrast, optimism was lowest in the fall of 2020, before the release of vaccines and at the beginning of an infection surge that would peak in January 2021. Americans were also decidedly pessimistic in August 2021 and January 2022, also times when COVID-19 cases spiked.”
Casey Harper works at The Center Square’s Washington, D.C., bureau.