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Poll: Americans' Concerns Over Coronavirus and Support of Mask Mandates Are Dwindling

AP Photo/Marta Lavandier

In recent months, several Democratic states and cities have rescinded mask mandates, proof-of-vaccination to enter indoor establishment mandates, and other pandemic-related measures. A new poll released late last month shows that Americans’ concerns of the spread of coronavirus are eroding, as well as support for mask mandates in public places.

According to a recent Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll, 24 percent of respondents are “extremely or very worried about themselves or a family member being infected with COVID-19.” This is down from 36 percent in the past few months when the Omicron variant created a surge in positive cases. The survey found that adults vaccinated against the virus are twice as likely to be concerned about infection (28 percent) than unvaccinated adults (13 percent).

The poll write-up claims that 50 percent of Americans approve of mask mandates compared to 28 percent who oppose. However, this number is down from past months. Fifty-seven percent of vaccinated adults “strongly or somewhat favor” mask mandates. Fifty percent of unvaccinated adults “strongly or somewhat oppose” mask mandates. 

“The public is less concerned about the spread of infectious diseases as a direct threat to the U.S. than they were just six months ago,” the write-up reads. “In August 2021, 65% were extremely or very concerned of the spread of infectious diseases. In the current survey, 48% are extremely or very worried, 33% are moderately concerned, and 19% are not concerned. The current level of concern is closer to pre-coronavirus pandemic levels.”

The poll was conducted from Feb. 18 to Feb. 21 with 1,289 adults. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3.7 percentage points.

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