Poll: Majority of Americans Say Protests, Rallies Pose Health Risk

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 14: Thousands fill the streets in support of Black Trans Lives Matter and George Floyd on June 14, 2020 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Protests continue all around the country in the wake of the death of Floyd while in Minneapolis police …
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An overwhelming majority of Americans believe protests, demonstrations, and rallies pose a risk to their health during the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, an Axios/Ipsos poll released Tuesday found.

The survey, conducted June 26-29 among 1,065 U.S. adults, asked respondents, “How much of a risk to your health and well-being do you think the following activities are right now?”

An overwhelming majority, 88 percent, considered protests, rallies, and demonstrations as posing a large or moderate risk to their health and wellbeing. Of those, 67 percent of respondents categorized those events as carrying a “large” risk.

Eight-three percent of respondents said a wedding “where all or part is indoors” carries a large or moderate risk, followed by 78 percent who view Fourth of July celebrations as risky.

“We won’t know until it happens exactly how much it affects behavior, but I think this is a leading indicator this may be a seriously dampened or toned down Fourth of July,” said Cliff Young, president of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs, noting that the coronavirus “took the fun out of everything.”

“People are assessing their risk level independent of the relative importance of the event,” he explained, adding that “people are looking around, saying maybe it’s not going to return to normal so fast.”

“I think it’s setting in that we’re in this thing for the long haul,” Young added. “Everything we do is adjusted.”

To that point, the survey found that 37 percent see a “large risk with returning to their normal pre-coronavirus lives.” That is an increase of seven points from last week’s results.

The margin of error is +/- 3.1 percent.

The survey comes as demonstrations — the activity Americans found the most risky — continue to pop up across the nation, despite coronavirus concerns. Recent photos show thousands flocking to downtown Chicago for an unofficial pride march, despite the mayor’s cancellation of the event:

With coronavirus cases on the rise, many localities are taking preemptive measures. Beaches in South Florida, for instance, are closing for the Fourth of July weekend as part of a greater effort to curb the rising number of positive cases in the state.

South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore Fireworks Celebration, however, is still scheduled to take place July 3. President Trump, as well as roughly 7,500 people, are expected to be in attendance. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) said that masks will be provided to attendees but not required.

The Axios/Ipsos poll found that a majority, 53 percent, claim to wear a mask “at all times when leaving the home, a survey high.”


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