Poll: 74 percent of voters concerned about losing freedoms due to COVID-19

More than 7 in 10 voters fear losing freedoms due to the coronavirus pandemic, though exposure to the virus topped concerns overall, according to a Hill-HarrisX poll released Monday.

Eighty-three percent of registered voters in the April 6-7 survey said they are worried about being exposed to the coronavirus, while 74 percent said they are concerned about losing freedoms.

Seventy-three percent said they fear having to go to the hospital and 48 percent of voters said they are concerned about losing their job.

Thirty-five percent said they are concerned about having to re-locate due to pandemic.

Over the past week, protests against social distancing restrictions have broken out in several states. Many of those protesting have argued the restrictions are hurting the economy too much. Some have also suggested the restrictions are an over-reaction. 

Public health officials, including members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, have advised that people should follow the restrictions to prevent the coronavirus from spreading. They say the economic costs if there are new outbreaks from the virus could be even worse. 

Polling officials say the coronavirus pandemic is likely to raise more questions about civil liberties and government interventions. 

“I think that’s going to be one of the really important crossovers in the post-COVID era, between civil rights and public health,” Mohamed Younis, Editor-in-chief at Gallup, told Hill.TV.

“Hopefully those concerns will be alleviated when there is a vaccine and people are able to move more freely but in the short term, I think every major democracy is going to be grappling with the fact of how do you find a balance between having people tracked on their cell phones in order to control the virus and who turns that off?” he added.

The Hill-HarrisX poll was conducted online among 1,000 registered voters on April 6-7. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

—Gabriela Schulte