An increasing number of Americans, particularly Republicans, say the coronavirus outbreak has been exaggerated, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center.
Conducted between June 4 and 10 as a part of the American News Pathways project, the survey of 9,654 US adults showed a partisan divide in views of the coronavirus pandemic. Nearly two-thirds of Republicans surveyed said the outbreak has been overhyped, compared to 18 percent of Democrats. In addition, more Republicans (47 percent) than Democrats (31 percent) said it is harder to tell what’s true in news related to the virus.
As states ease social distancing guidelines and slowly reopen, Dr. Anthony Fauci, a lead member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, urged Americans to practice everyday measures such as mask-wearing and social distancing to prevent community spread of the virus, which he said is more difficult to do contact tracing for.
“What has happened, I guess understandably, but nonetheless regrettably, [is] that people took the attitude in some places of either all or none,” Fauci told CNN in an interview Monday. “Either you’re locked down, or you just let it fly and you just ignore many of the guidelines.”
Most Americans give the CDC and other public health organizations the highest rating on getting the facts right and give President Donald Trump‘s administration the lowest rating. Sixty-four percent of US adults surveyed said the CDC and other public health organizations get the facts right “almost all” or “most” of the time when it comes to the coronavirus outbreak, versus 30 percent who said the same about the Trump administration.
White House: Wearing Mask Is ‘Personal Choice’
During a press briefing on Monday, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters that President Trump’s decision to wear a mask is a “personal choice.”
“It’s his choice to wear a mask. It’s the personal choice of any individual as to whether to wear a mask or not,” McEnany said. “He encourages people to make whatever decision is best for their safety, but he did say to me he has no problem with masks, and to do whatever your local jurisdiction requests of you.”
McEnany did not say if the president would wear a mask during his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in Jacksonville, Florida. The city recently announced that masks are now mandatory for public and indoor locations.