COVID-19 concerns overshadowed by economy: poll

A line of cars stretching several blocks wait to pull into an appointment-only COVID-19 testing center, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022, in Seattle
Associated Press/Elaine Thompson

Concerns over the economy are overshadowing worries regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new poll.

The survey, conducted by The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, found that 68 percent of adults in the U.S. named an economic concern among the top five problems they would like the government to address in 2022, while only 33 percent of respondents named COVID-19.

Economic concerns included unemployment, jobs, debt, the deficit, government spending, budget, poverty, hunger, homelessness, taxes, tax reform, inflation, the economy in general and other such issues.

For comparison, 53 percent of respondents pointed to COVID-19 as a top priority this time one year ago, according to the AP, and 68 percent said the same of the economy.

The results come after months marked by rising prices, skyrocketing inflation and supply chain bottlenecks affecting consumers nationwide. The consumer price index, which tracks inflation for a number of staple goods and services, reached a 30-year high in November.

Eighty percent of respondents in the new survey said they are concerned about domestic issues, 44 percent pointed to foreign policy matters, 24 percent cited personal financial issues, 59 percent cited health care/health issues — which includes COVID-19 — and 26 percent of respondents cited politics as a top concern. Only 2 percent said terrorism was a main priority.

Confidence in the federal government making progress on these issues, however, appears to be low. Seventy-four percent of respondents said they are slightly confident or not confident at all that the government will address issues involving the economy, while 56 percent said the same for COVID-19.

The poll surveyed 1,089 adults Dec. 2-7. The margin of error is 4.1 percentage points.


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