Gap narrows between those who see pandemic as more of a health crisis and those focused on economy: poll

Gap narrows between those who see pandemic as more of a health crisis and those focused on economy: poll
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The gap between U.S. adults who see the coronavirus pandemic as more of a health crisis and those focusing on the economy has narrowed within the past two months, a poll released Tuesday found.

The poll, from NBC and SurveyMonkey, found that a slight majority of respondents — 52 percent — said they see the coronavirus mostly as a health crisis, compared to 47 percent who see the pandemic as more of an economic issue. 

A poll released in early July determined that 56 percent of participants saw the pandemic as primarily a health crisis, while 43 percent identified it as mostly an economic mess. 

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Participants also are now more likely to consider business reopenings to be happening more slowly than in the July poll. A majority 54 percent said in the new poll they were worried businesses were reopening too quickly, while 42 percent said they were concerned they were opening too slowly.

In July, 63 percent of respondents said they worried businesses were reopening too quickly and 33 percent expressed concern about the delay in reopening. 

The NBC|SurveyMonkey Weekly Tracking Poll surveyed 35,847 adults in a series of SurveyMonkey online polls conducted from Aug. 31 to Sept. 6. The margin of error amounted to 1 percentage point. 

The poll results come as the U.S. has counted more than 6.3 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 189,226 related fatalities since the first case was identified in the country in January, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.  

Unemployment in April surged to 14.7 percent the highest rate since the Great Depression. Since then, it has fallen to 8.4 percent in August, which is still higher than pre-pandemic numbers, as reopenings occurred.

In recent months, state governments have loosened coronavirus restrictions, and a sense of normal has returned in parts of the U.S. with the resumption of some sports and schools, some virtually and some in-person.