Gallup editor in chief: Coronavirus has had an 'unprecedented' impact on US

Gallup polling has shown that the coronavirus pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on Americans, Editor in Chief Mohamed Younis said Tuesday.

Gallup has conducted polls throughout “every major crisis” dating back to the Great Depression, including Pearl Harbor, the second world war, 9/11 and the Great Recession of 2008, he said. During each crisis, Gallup has asked Americans how closely they’re following the situation. 

“The COVID crisis is only second to 9/11 in garnering Americans’ focus so far,” he said in an interview with The Hill.TV’s “Rising.” The editor referenced polling done in the first two weeks of the crisis. 

“Now if you think of the length of that focus, it completely eclipses 9/11. So we really are experiencing something both here with the U.S. and globally that is truly unprecedented,” Younis added.

Younis attributed the unprecedented impact to the "uniqueness” of the crisis and its widespread impact on Americans regardless of class. 

“Whether you wait tables for a living or you're a surgeon who does elective surgery, you're shut down right now,” he said. 

“People are really struggling, really throughout all classes of society,” he added.  “It's certainly not a crisis thats sort of heavily impacting one group and not the other.”

Gallup has also surveyed Americans on how they’re feeling. Across the U.S. stress, worry and boredom levels have gone up while enjoyment and happiness have stayed steady, Younis said. 

A Gallup survey released Tuesday reported that 8 in 10 Americans said their lives have been disrupted a great deal or a fair amount due to the coronavirus. The breakdown was split fairly evenly by age, college degree and annual household income. 

Across the U.S., there are more than 379,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 11,851 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University

Nearly every state has issued stay-at-home orders and businesses and schools have shut down across the country in response to the public health crisis.