Poll: Plurality Say Worst of the Pandemic Is Behind Us

People Throwing Their Face Masks
Pavel Danilyuk/Pexels

A plurality of Americans believe the worst of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic is behind us, a The Economist/YouGov survey released this week found.

The survey asked respondents to gauge where they believe the United States is in terms of the pandemic, two years in. A plurality, 44 percent, expressed the belief that the “worst part of the pandemic is behind us,” followed by 22 percent who are unsure.

Seventeen percent believe the pandemic is “going to get worse,” while 16 percent believe the U.S. is “currently in the worst part of the pandemic.” 

The survey, taken February 5-8, 2022, among 1,500 U.S. adults, has a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percent. 

Those opinions coincide with the sudden urge of blue state leaders to lift certain restrictions in their respective states. Gov. John Carney (D) of President Biden’s Delaware, for instance, announced this week the end of the state’s indoor mask mandate as of Friday. The state’s school mask mandate, however, will stay in place until March. Similarly, other blue state leaders, including Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D), New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D), and California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), have this week announced the rolling back of certain mask restrictions, even as federal health officials seemingly remain hesitant.

On Wednesday, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Rochelle Walensky stated that they “continue to recommend masking in areas of high and substantial transmission” which is “most of the country right now.”

However, Dr. Anthony Fauci, too, has expressed the belief that the U.S. is exiting the “full-blown” pandemic phase, despite stating last month that we were still in the first of four stages of the pandemic.

Red state leaders are skeptical of the left’s newfound “epiphany” of lifting coronavirus restrictions, emphasizing that the science has not changed “one iota.”

“So when you start to see them kind of reevaluate or say all this, just understand this. The science didn’t change. The medical science didn’t change. The political science changed. They feel the heat,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who has maintained a strong anti-lockdown, pro-liberty stance in his state throughout the pandemic, said during a press conference this week.

“They know that voters have been tired of perpetual lockdown policies. They know that they have basically offered no offramp and they know that they’re fixing to be whooped at the polls, so that’s causing the epiphany,” he continued.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) made a similar observation on Wednesday during a speech on the Senate floor.

“Sometimes I hear the phrase, ‘the science changed.’ The science hasn’t changed. What’s changed is that there’s an election coming, and Democrats have seen the polling on this question,” he said.

“Now they are running scared and they want to pretend that they didn’t force your kid to wear a mask for two years. You see it in states that are run entirely by Democrats — California, New Jersey, New York. The president’s own Delaware.”

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