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Most Americans Say State Governments Have Lifted COVID-19 Restrictions Too Quickly

“As a growing number of states grapple with a rise in coronavirus cases, a sizable majority of U.S. adults (69%) say their greater concern is that state governments have been lifting restrictions on public activity too quickly. Fewer than half as many, just 30%, say their bigger concern is that states have been too slow to lift the restrictions. These views are similar to attitudes in April and May, when the question asked whether the greater concern was whether state governments would lift coronavirus-related restrictions too quickly or not quickly enough. In May, 68% said their bigger concern was that state governments would ease restrictions too quickly. With the U.S. economy reeling from the impact of the coronavirus, nearly three-quarters of Americans (73%) say the more effective way to help the economy recover is by significantly reducing the number of infections, so that more people feel comfortable going to stores, restaurants, schools and other workplaces. Only about a quarter (26%) say the more effective path to recovery is to reopen businesses and schools even if there hasn’t been a significant decline in infections. The new national survey by Pew Research Center, conducted July 27-Aug. 2 among 11,001 adults on the Center’s American Trends Panel, finds broadly negative assessments of the overall U.S. response to the coronavirus outbreak – and increasingly critical evaluations of how Donald Trump, state and local government officials and public health officials have dealt with the crisis.

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