Hardship, anxiety, and optimism: Racial and partisan disparities in Americans’ response to COVID-19

Findings from the AEI COVID-19 and American Life Survey

June 16, 2020 | Daniel A. Cox

Personal Experiences with COVID-19 and Public Perceptions of the Outbreak

Following the News about COVID-19

Nine in 10 Americans continue to be monitoring news and information about COVID-19. Nearly half (46 percent) of the public report they are very closely following news about the coronavirus outbreak. Forty-four percent say they are following news about the pandemic somewhat closely. Only one in 10 (10 percent) Americans say they are not paying much attention to news about the coronavirus outbreak. The public’s interest in news about the coronavirus outbreak has not waned since the early days. A survey conducted in late April found an identical number of Americans (46 percent) following news about the coronavirus outbreak very closely.[i]

However, there are partisan divisions in how much attention Americans are paying to the news about the coronavirus outbreak. A majority (56 percent) of Democrats, compared to about four in 10 Republicans (40 percent) and independents (41 percent), say they are following coronavirus news very closely.

Interest in news about COVID-19 also varies considerably across racial and ethnic lines as well. Nearly six in 10 (59 percent) black Americans say they are following news about the coronavirus outbreak very closely, compared to approximately four in 10 white (43 percent) and Hispanic Americans (44 percent).

Most Americans Do Not Know Anyone Infected by COVID-19

Despite infections topping out at over two million cases nationally, the majority (58 percent) of Americans still do not know someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Only four in 10 (40 percent) Americans who are not living with someone who was infected say they know someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.[ii]

Reflecting the disproportionate infection rate among black Americans, there are wide disparities between white and black Americans when it comes to knowing someone infected.[iii] A majority (53 percent) of black Americans personally know someone who has been infected with COVID-19. Conversely, a majority of white Americans (60 percent) report they do not know anyone infected with COVID-19 while less than half (46 percent) of black Americans say the same. Fifty-four percent of Hispanic Americans report they do not know anyone who has been infected.

Americans living in urban areas are more likely to report knowing someone infected with COVID-19 than are those living in other communities. Forty-five percent of Americans living in urban areas say they know someone with COVID-19, compared to 35 percent of those living in rural communities.

Despite the large and rising death toll due to COVID-19,[iv] most Americans are not very concerned that they or a member of their household will contract the virus. Only 22 percent of Americans who are not currently infected or living with someone who is infected say they are very worried about contracting COVID-19. Thirty-eight percent say they are somewhat worried, while 40 percent say they are not that concerned. In late March, 29 percent of the public said they were very worried that they or a household member would become infected.[v]

There is a wide divergence between partisans in levels of concern about possible infection. More than seven in 10 (72 percent) Democrats and only 43 percent of Republicans say they are at least somewhat worried about a household member becoming infected. Democrats are more than twice as likely as Republicans are to be very concerned about this possibility (29 percent vs. 14 percent).

Parents of children under age 18 are considerably more worried than are those without children living at home or who are not parents. Close to three in 10 (28 percent) parents with children under age 18 living at home say they are very worried about a household member becoming infected. Only 19 percent of those without children express this level of concern.

Is the Worst Still Ahead?

Although many parts of the country are opening back up, Americans remain divided over whether we have seen the worst of the coronavirus outbreak or whether the worst is still to come. Thirty-nine percent of Americans believe that the US has experienced the worst part of the coronavirus pandemic, but half (50 percent) of the public say the worst is yet to come. Eight percent of Americans say the coronavirus outbreak is not now nor has it ever been a major problem in the US.

Perceptions of pessimism and optimism about the pandemic vary considerably between Democrats and Republicans. A majority (54 percent) of Republicans believe the country has seen the worst of the pandemic while less than one-third (31 percent) of Democrats agree. Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of Democrats say the worst is yet to come, a view shared by 27 percent of Republicans. Notably 16 percent of Republicans, and only 2 percent of Democrats, say the coronavirus has never been a significant issue for the US.

Not only do large numbers of Americans believe the worst is yet to come, but they also believe life will not return to normal in the US until at least 2021. A majority (54 percent) of Americans say that life in the US will not return to normal until 2021 and beyond. One-third (33 percent) say things will go back to the way they were before the outbreak by the end of the year. Only 13 percent say it will happen before the end of the year. In late March, only 17 percent of the public said it would take longer than the end of the year for life in the US to return to the way it was before the outbreak.[vi]

Perceptions appear to be significantly influenced by political affiliation. Sixty-three percent of Democrats say it will take longer than the end of the year for things to return to normal in the US. Only 39 percent of Republicans agree. But few Republicans believe the country will be back to the way it was in the near term. Only 19 percent of Republicans say that life will return to normal by the end of July.

How Comfortable Are Americans Going Back to Their Old Lives?

Americans express substantial discomfort about engaging in a wide array of different personal, social, and commercial pursuits. They are most comfortable engaging in the most basic and essential activities. Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of Americans say they would feel at least somewhat comfortable going to the grocery store. Roughly as many (64 percent) Americans say they would feel somewhat or very comfortable having a friend or relative over to their house. Notably, only 35 percent of Americans say they would feel comfortable having someone over to their home who had COVID-19 but had since recovered from the disease. Close to half (45 percent) say they would feel comfortable getting a haircut or visiting a nail salon.

Americans express greater discomfort engaging in entertainment activities that would put them in relatively close proximity to a substantial number of people. Less than half of Americans say they would feel comfortable eating out at a restaurant, attending a sporting event, or going to a movie theater. Thirty-seven percent of the public say they would feel comfortable dining out at a restaurant. Fewer report feeling comfortable with going to a movie theater (24 percent) or attending a sporting event (22 percent).

Americans express a good deal of discomfort when it comes to taking public transportation and traveling. About one in five Americans say they would feel at least somewhat comfortable taking a flight on an airplane (21 percent) or taking the bus, train, subway, or some other form of public transit (18 percent).

Even as many churches and places of worship are reopening their doors to worshippers, a substantial number of their congregants express trepidation in returning. Only 36 percent of Americans, including 40 percent of Americans who belong to a religious tradition, say they would feel comfortable attending an in-person worship service.

Despite the hardships many parents are enduring by taking care of their children full time while trying to work, many express considerable discomfort about having them return to school or daycare. About one in four (24 percent) parents of children under age 18 say they would feel comfortable sending their child or children back to daycare or school. More than three-quarters (76 percent) say they would feel at least somewhat uncomfortable doing this, including half (50 percent) who say they would feel very uncomfortable with the prospect of their children attending school or daycare. Parents are more comfortable taking their children to the park or playgrounds. Four in 10 (40 percent) parents say they would be comfortable doing this with their children.

Five months before the 2020 presidential election, less than half (45 percent) of the public say they would feel comfortable going to their polling place to vote.

Concerns about going to at a local polling place to vote are much higher among city dwellers than those living in rural communities. More than half (54 percent) of Americans who live in rural areas say they would feel comfortable heading to their local polling place to vote, while only 37 percent of Americans living in cities say they would feel comfortable doing this.

There are massive partisan differences in feelings of comfort that span nearly every activity type. Two-thirds (67 percent) of Republicans say they would feel at least somewhat comfortable going to a polling place to vote compared to 31 percent of Democrats. A majority (57 percent) of Republicans say they would feel comfortable eating out at a restaurant, while only 21 percent of Democrats say the same. Republicans are more than twice as likely as Democrats are to express comfort in going to get a haircut (63 percent vs. 27 percent).

The American Response to COVID-19

Americans Have Become More Critical of the Government’s Handling of the Coronavirus Outbreak

The public is generally divided over how well the US government responded to the coronavirus outbreak compared to other similarly developed countries. Thirty percent of Americans believe the US response was better than that in other developed countries, while 41 percent say it has been worse. Twenty-seven percent of Americans say it has been about the same.

Since late March, Americans’ judgments about how well state and federal authorities have done in responding to the coronavirus outbreak have become significantly more negative. The public is now evenly split over how well the federal government has done handling the outbreak. About half (49 percent) of Americans say the federal government has done at least somewhat well in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak. About half (51 percent) express a negative appraisal of the federal government’s response. In late March, 60 percent of the public gave positive marks to the federal government’s handling of the crisis.[vii]

Americans express much more positive views about how well their state governments have done, but the public is less enthusiastic about their performance than they were in late March. Today, 70 percent of Americans say their state government has handled the crisis at least somewhat well, a drop from 77 percent a couple months earlier.[viii]

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to receive mostly positive reviews for its performance in responding to the outbreak. Sixty-nine percent of Americans say the agency has handled its role at least somewhat well. However, this represents a decline from late March when 78 percent expressed this view.[ix]

The public’s view of Donald Trump’s performance has similarly declined. Less than half (42 percent) of the public say Trump has responded at least somewhat well to the coronavirus outbreak. A majority (57 percent) of Americans rate Trump’s performance negatively. As of late March, more than half (52 percent) of Americans gave Trump positive marks for his handling of the crisis.[x]

There is little disagreement among the public in views of state government and CDC response to the coronavirus outbreak. But Americans differ considerably in their views of how the federal government and Trump have handled the crisis.

Republicans give much higher marks to the federal government and Trump than Democrats do. Seventy-five percent of Republicans say the federal government has handled the crisis at least somewhat well. Only 29 percent of Democrats give the federal government positive reviews for how it has performed in handling the outbreak. An even wider gap is evident in views of Trump’s performance. More than eight in 10 (84 percent) Republicans, compared to only 12 percent of Democrats, say Trump has handled the crisis at least somewhat well. It is notable that while only 22 percent of Republicans say the federal government is handling response to the coronavirus outbreak very well, while 51 percent rate Trump’s response positively.

The pattern is also evident among Americans of different racial and ethnic backgrounds. White Americans are somewhat more likely than are black Americans to say the federal government has responded to the coronavirus crisis at least somewhat well (51 percent vs. 40 percent). Roughly half (47 percent) of Hispanics also believe the federal government’s response has been positive.

But wider differences emerge in views of Trump’s performance. Half of white Americans, including 52 percent of white men, say Trump has handled the coronavirus outbreak at least somewhat well. Less than four in 10 (37 percent) Hispanic Americans and only 18 percent of black Americans say Trump has responded well to the crisis.

More Americans Say Government Serves the Public Interest

Although Americans have given the federal government decidedly mixed reviews for its response to the coronavirus outbreak, more Americans today express confidence that the federal government is acting in the best interest of the public. Nearly half (46 percent) say they have at least some confidence that the federal government generally represents the public interest. In late 2019, less than one-third (30 percent) of the public said they had at least some confidence the federal government has the best interests of the American public.[xi]

A similar pattern is evident in views of local government. Today, more than two-thirds (68 percent) of Americans say they have at least some confidence their city or local government has the best interests of the public in mind. Last year, 54 percent of Americans expressed this view.[xii]

Despite negative judgments of Trump’s performance overall, he may have benefited from the same shift in public sentiment. Forty percent of Americans say they have at least some confidence that Trump is acting in the best interests of the broader public, while 59 percent express little or no confidence. Late in 2019, less than one-third (32 percent) of Americans expressed having at least some confidence that Trump was acting in the best interests of the public.[xiii]

Rising Support for Opening Back Up

Despite concerns about the ongoing threat coronavirus poses to American public health, the public increasingly supports efforts to reopen the economy even if it puts some members of the public at risk. Fifty-eight percent of Americans say government authorities should take all the necessary steps to keep the public safe even if it harms businesses and the economy. This is a significant shift from late March, when nearly eight in 10 (78 percent) Americans said authorities should prioritize safeguarding the public even if doing so incurs an economic cost.[xiv]

Attitudes are highly polarized among Americans of different racial and ethnic backgrounds. Eighty-two percent of black Americans and roughly two-thirds (65 percent) of Hispanic Americans say the government should continue to focus more on safeguarding the health of its citizens even if it comes at an economic cost. White Americans are divided; half (50 percent) of white Americans agree with prioritizing public health, while nearly as many (49 percent) say the government should allow businesses to open back up even if it means putting people at risk.

Has COVID-19 Spurred an Increase in Social Trust?

Americans are extremely positive about how well people in their community are adhering to social distancing recommendations. More than eight in 10 (81 percent) Americans say people in their neighborhood are doing at least somewhat well in maintaining social distance from each other. More than one-third (34 percent) say their neighbors have done very well maintaining social distancing.

There has been a notable increase in social trust over the past 18 months. Roughly two-thirds (65 percent) of Americans say that in general people try to be helpful, while about one in three (34 percent) say people are mostly only out for themselves. In late 2018, public sentiment was more divided. Fifty-five percent said people try to be helpful and 44 percent said people are mostly looking out for themselves.[xv]

The Economic Fallout

The US is experiencing record levels of unemployment. More than 30 million Americans have applied for unemployment benefits since March.[xvi] The current, official unemployment rate, determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is 13.3 percent.[xvii] In this latest survey, 16 percent of American adults identify as being unemployed, including 7 percent who report being furloughed or temporarily unemployed.

Most Americans who are out of work today report having lost their job because of the coronavirus outbreak and that they have been out of work for a considerable length of time. Approximately three-quarters (74 percent) of Americans who are currently unemployed say they lost their job either directly or indirectly because of the coronavirus outbreak. Of the Americans who lost their job due to the coronavirus outbreak, more than half (54 percent) report they have been unemployed for longer than eight weeks. Eleven percent report being out of work for 12 weeks or longer.

Americans who are out of work due to the coronavirus crisis are far more likely to have friends and family members who have also lost their jobs than are those who are still employed. Forty-seven percent of Americans unemployed due to the pandemic say that at least half of their close friends or family members are also out of work. In contrast, only about one in 10 (11 percent) Americans who are currently employed full-time say that as many as half of their close friends or family members are out of work.

The social connections Americans have to those who have lost their job because of the pandemic vary dramatically by race and ethnicity. Among all of those who are unemployed due to coronavirus, white Americans are significantly less likely to have friends or family members who are also out of work. Forty percent of unemployed white Americans say at least half of their close friends and family members lost their job due to the coronavirus outbreak compared to 47 percent of unemployed black Americans. A majority (63 percent) of unemployed Hispanic Americans report that at least half of their close friends and family members are out of work due to the pandemic.

The Racial Divide in Financial Hardships and Experiences

The economic fallout from coronavirus has not been felt equally among the public. Job losses have been concentrated in service industries disproportionately held by women and people of color.[xviii] Not surprisingly, financial hardships are also falling harder on black and Hispanic families than white families.

Approximately one in 10 (12 percent) Americans report having fallen behind in paying their mortgage or rent since February. But experiences vary considerably among white, black, and Hispanic households. At least one in five black (22 percent) and Hispanic Americans (20 percent) say they have had trouble covering their rent or mortgage since February, while only 7 percent of white Americans report having fallen behind on household expenses.

Overall, close to one in five (17 percent) Americans reported struggling to pay for food since February. Black (23 percent) and Hispanic Americans (26 percent) are about twice as likely as white Americans (13 percent) are to report experiencing food insecurity since the beginning of the pandemic.

There is a similarly large racial gap in experiences of falling behind on credit card payments or other bills. One in five (20 percent) Americans overall say they or someone in their household has fallen behind on their credit card payments, but there is a large gap between white Americans and black and Hispanic Americans. Approximately one-third of black (34 percent) and Hispanic (30 percent) say they have been unable to pay all their bills or pay their credit cards. White Americans are half as likely (15 percent) to report having this experience.

Again, we see notable disparities between Americans of different racial and ethnic backgrounds in having to withdraw money from retirement or savings accounts to pay for basic expenses. Fifteen percent of Americans report having withdrawn money from a savings account or retirement account since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Black Americans (22 percent) are more likely to have taken money out of savings or retirement accounts than are Hispanic (16 percent) or white Americans (13 percent).

One in four (25 percent) black Americans and 22 percent of Hispanic Americans report having borrowed money from friends or family over the past few months. Only 14 percent of white Americans and 17 percent of all Americans say they have borrowed money from friends or family members.

Layoffs have not been evenly distributed either. Overall, one in five (20 percent) Americans report having lost their job since February, including 18 percent of white and 22 percent of black Americans. Three in 10 (30 percent) Hispanic Americans report that they lost their job since February.

There is a similar disparity between workers having their hours reduced or limited. About one-third of white (32 percent) and black Americans (32 percent), and 35 percent of the public overall, say they have had their employment hours reduced or limited. In contrast, nearly half (45 percent) of Hispanic Americans report this experience.

Although a disproportionate number of Hispanic Americans report that someone in their household has lost their job since February, they are not much more likely to have received unemployment benefits. Nineteen percent of white and black Americans say they or a household member has received unemployment benefits, compared to 23 percent of Hispanic Americans.

Despite the massive layoffs that have occurred because of the coronavirus outbreak, comparatively few Americans report having lost their health insurance coverage. Only 6 percent of Americans say they or someone in their household has lost their health care coverage since February ,including roughly similar numbers of white (5 percent), black (7 percent), and Hispanic Americans (9 percent).

Supporting Communities and Community Workers

In an effort to support their community and people affected by the coronavirus outbreak, some Americans are making greater efforts to support their community. Forty-two percent of Americans say since February they have been giving larger tips for services to support workers in their community. About one in five (21 percent) members of the public say they have increased their charitable giving to local nonprofits and charities over the past few months. One in 10 (10 percent) Americans say they are still paying for services — such as childcare, cleaning, or lawn services — that they are not currently using.

Compared to the public as a whole, Americans with larger household incomes are more likely to have made an effort to support their community through personal charitable acts. Six in 10 (60 percent) Americans with household incomes of at least $100,000 report increasing their level of tipping since February. Nearly one-third (31 percent) of Americans with annual incomes of at least $100,000 report having increased their local charitable giving over the past few months, and 15 percent report continuing to pay for services they are not currently using.

Economic Outlook for Those Unemployed Due to COVID-19

Most Americans who lost their job due to the coronavirus outbreak are optimistic they will be able to return to work within the next six months. More than two-thirds (68 percent) of those out of work because of the pandemic say their employer will hire them back in the next six months.

Optimism is fairly stable across the board. Majorities of Americans of different racial and ethnic groups feel confident that they will be able to return to their old job by the end of the year. Women who left the labor force because of the coronavirus outbreak are somewhat more confident than men are that they will be able to return to their former positions relatively soon (71 percent vs. 63 percent), but a majority of both men and women believe they will return by year’s end.

Few workers who lost their job blame their former employers. Most Americans who lost their jobs due to the pandemic feel their former employer acted in good faith to try to prevent layoffs. More than six in 10 (63 percent) of those recently unemployed say their former employer did their best to help their employees. Thirty-six percent of those who lost their jobs say their former employers could have done more.

Although many Americans who lost their job due to the coronavirus outbreak have been out of work for months, most have remained in contact with their former employer since they stopped working. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) say they have been in touch with their former workplace since losing their job.

It appears that most out-of-work Americans will have workplaces to return to as well. Few of those out of work due to the pandemic report that their former employer has closed permanently. Only 6 percent of those recently unemployed say their former employer is no longer operating. More than half (51 percent) say their former employer is temporarily closed but is planning to reopen. About one-third (32 percent) say their former employee is currently operating but that current employees are working remotely, with reduced hours, or with limited schedules. Only 9 percent say their former employer is open and operating as usual.

Declining Household Income

A significant number of US households have experienced a decline in income over the past few months. More than one in three (34 percent) Americans report that their household income has declined over the past couple months. Thirteen percent say their household income has increased over this period, while more than half (53 percent) report no shifts in their overall household finances.

Generational differences are profound. Close to half (45 percent) of young adults (age 18 to 29) report living in households that have experienced income decline over the past few months. In contrast, only 16 percent of seniors (age 65 or older) say their households have experienced a decline in income over the past couple months.[xix]

Raiding the Rainy Day Fund

Half (50 percent) of Americans report having a three-month cash reserve in case of sickness, job loss, economic downturn, or other emergencies. An equal number of Americans (50 percent) report they do not have a reserve of funds that could keep them going for three months. White Americans (54 percent) are significantly more likely to have a rainy day fund than are Hispanic (40 percent) or black Americans (37 percent).

More than four in 10 (44 percent) Americans who have a rainy day or emergency reserve report having to dip into the fund over the past few months. Nearly one in five (18 percent) of those with an emergency fund say they have spent at least half or more of it.

The extent to which Americans are finding it necessary to raid their rainy day funds varies considerably by race and ethnicity. Among white Americans who have an emergency fund, only 36 percent say they had to use any of it. In contrast, a majority (55 percent) of Hispanics and roughly three-quarters (74 percent) of black Americans with a three-month emergency fund say they spent at least a little of their reserve. More than one-third (34 percent) of black Americans say they have spent most or all of their rainy day fund. In contrast, 18 percent of Hispanic Americans and only 7 percent of white Americans report having spent most or all of their emergency fund.

Lasting Changes to the US Economy

Americans generally believe that the coronavirus outbreak and the economic devastation that it has wrought will lead to lasting changes in the American economy. More than three-quarters (77 percent) of the public say the pandemic will force major changes in the American economy. Twenty-two percent do not think the pandemic will have much of an impact over the long term.

The public is generally pessimistic about what these changes might mean. Among those who say the pandemic will lead to enduring changes to the economy, most (54 percent) believe it will generally be for the worse. Forty-four percent of Americans who believe the economy will change say it will ultimately be for the better.

There is widespread agreement among the public that the coronavirus outbreak and the corresponding economic collapse will augur major changes to the American economy, but disagreements emerge between demographic groups over whether it will ultimately be beneficial. Women are more pessimistic than men are that the resulting changes to the economic system will be unhelpful. Fifty-six percent of women, compared to 51 percent of men, believe the changes will not be beneficial.

Although urban centers thus far have been far more affected by the coronavirus outbreak than small towns and rural communities have been, Americans living in cities express more optimism about changes in the American economy. Nearly half (49 percent) of urban residents say the changes to the American economy will generally be helpful, while only 41 percent of small town and 38 percent of rural residents agree.

When it comes to the underlying strength and resilience of the American economy, most of the public believe that the coronavirus outbreak reveals major weaknesses. Six in 10 (60 percent) Americans say the pandemic has shown the US economy to have considerable weaknesses, while 38 percent say it has demonstrated that the economy is fundamentally strong.

Views diverge sharply along partisan lines. More than three-quarters (76 percent) of Democrats say the coronavirus crisis has revealed major weaknesses in the American economy, a view shared by only 36 percent of Republicans. Sixty-two percent of Republicans say the pandemic has shown that the economy is fundamentally strong.


Survey Methodology

The survey was designed and conducted by the American Enterprise Institute. Interviews were conducted among a random sample of 3,504 adults (age 18 and up) living in the United States, including all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Interviews were conducted both online using a self-administered design and by telephone using live interviewers. All interviews were conducted among participants using a probability-based panel designed to be representative of the national US adult population run by NORC at the University of Chicago. Panel participants without Internet access, which included 405 respondents, were interviewed via telephone by professional interviewers under the direction of NORC. Interviewing was conducted between May 21 and June 5, 2020.

Weighting was accomplished in two separate stages. First, panel base weights were calculated for every household based on the probability of selection from the NORC National Frame, the sampling frame that is used to sample housing units for AmeriSpeak.[i] Household level weights were then assigned to each eligible adult in every recruited household. In the second stage, sample demographics were balanced to match target population parameters for gender, age, education, race and Hispanic ethnicity, and division (US Census definitions), housing type, and telephone usage. The telephone usage parameter came from an analysis of the National Health Interview Survey. All other weighting parameters were derived from an analysis of the US Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey. The sample weighting was accomplished using an iterative proportional fitting (IFP) process that simultaneously balances the distributions of all variables. Weights were trimmed to prevent individual interviews from having too much influence on the final results.

The use of survey weights in statistical analyses ensures that the demographic characteristics of the sample closely approximate the demographic characteristics of the target population. The margin of error for the survey is +/- 2.3 percentage points at the 95% level of confidence. The design effect for the survey is 1.93.

[i] The National Frame is representative of over 97 percent of U.S. households and includes additional coverage of hard-to-survey population segments, such as rural and low-income households, that are underrepresented in other sample frames. AmeriSpeak uses U.S. mail notifications, NORC telephone interviewers, and in-person field interviewers to recruit panel households.


Notes

[i] Pew Research Center, “Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel Wave 66 April 2020,” https://www.journalism.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/8/2020/05/PJ_2020.05.08_Views-of-Media-Coronavirus_TOPLINE.pdf.

[ii] This number excludes 2 percent of those who personally have tested positive for COVID-19 or someone in their household has tested positive for COVID-19.

[iii] Shikha Garg et al., “Hospitalization Rates and Characteristics of Patients Hospitalized with Laboratory-Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019—COVID-NET, 14 States, March 1–30, 2020,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, April 17, 2020, https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6915e3.htm?s_cid=mm6915e3_w.

[iv] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Cases in the U.S.,” https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html.

[v] Daniel Cox, Karlyn Bowman, and Jacqueline Clemence, “Fear, Frustration, and Faith: Americans Respond to the Coronavirus Outbreak,” American Enterprise Institute, April 2, 2020, https://www.aei.org/research-products/report/fear-frustration-and-faith-americans-respond-to-the-coronavirus-outbreak/.

[vi] Cox, Bowman, and Clemence, “Fear, Frustration, and Faith.”

[vii] Cox, Bowman, and Clemence, “Fear, Frustration, and Faith.”

[viii] Cox, Bowman, and Clemence, “Fear, Frustration, and Faith.”

[ix] Cox, Bowman, and Clemence, “Fear, Frustration, and Faith.”

[x] Cox, Bowman, and Clemence, “Fear, Frustration, and Faith.”

[xi] AEI Community and Civic Life Survey, October 2019.

[xii] AEI Community and Civic Life Survey, October 2019.

[xiii] AEI Community and Civic Life Survey, October 2019.

[xiv] Cox, Bowman, and Clemence, “Fear, Frustration, and Faith.”

[xv] Samuel J. Abrams et al., “AEI Survey on Community and Society: Social Capital, Civic Health, and Quality of Life in the United States,” American Enterprise Institute, February 5, 2019, https://www.aei.org/research-products/report/aei-survey-on-community-and-society-social-capital-civic-health-and-quality-of-life-in-the-united-states/.

[xvi] Tony Romm, Jeff Stein, and Erica Werner, “2.4 Million Americans Filed Jobless Claims Last Week, Bringing Nine-Week Total to 38.6 Million,” Washington Post, May 21, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/05/21/unemployment-claims-coronavirus/.

[xvii] US Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment Situation Summary,” news release, June 5, 2020, https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm.

[xviii] Charisse Jones, “Historic Layoffs Take Biggest Toll on Blacks, Latinos, Women and the Young,” USA Today, May 8, 2020, https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/05/08/covid-19-layoffs-take-toll-women-people-color-and-young/3094964001/.

[xix] Of those 65 and older, 79 percent are retired.

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