Most believe stopping virus is larger priority than saving economy: poll

Most believe stopping virus is larger priority than saving economy: poll
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The majority of Americans believe that fighting and stopping the coronavirus outbreak should be the federal government's top priority, ahead of fixing the country's crippled economy, a new Public Agenda-USA Today-Ipsos poll finds.

According to the poll, conducted March 27-30, 72 percent of Americans surveyed said the government should focus on stopping the outbreak of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, while 21 percent said saving the economy should be the main focus.

More than 80 percent of respondents said they supported restarting the economy gradually to avoid putting more people's lives in danger.

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Additionally, 74 percent said they believed that state and local governments were doing all they could to fight the virus, while only half said they believed the same of the federal government.

This was largely split along party lines, with 74 percent of Republicans saying the federal government was doing all it could, while just 33 percent of Democrats said the same.

Respondents said they expected the crisis to last for months, with 23 percent saying they believe the measures to deal with the outbreak will be in place for at least six months.

The Trump administration has tried to juggle handling the flailing economy while supporting hospitals and agencies that have struggled to keep the pandemic under control, with more than 245,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country as of Friday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.