Most Americans Support Coronavirus Restrictions and Cautious Return to Everyday Life, Poll Finds
According to a new ABC News and Ipsos poll, 72 percent of Americans are worried about the potential dangers of easing coronavirus restrictions too quickly
“Americans are supportive of social distancing measures and are much more concerned about moving too quickly and costing lives than moving too slowly and damaging the economy,” according to the findings of an ABC News and Ipsos poll, which was released on Friday.
While 72 percent of Americans surveyed shared this concern, 86 percent said that they support social distancing guidelines and statewide orders.
About eight in 10 Americans said they were concerned about being infected with COVID-19, a statistic that has remained consistent in recent weeks, and only 20 percent said they would likely be comfortable with returning to public spaces immediately, should restrictions be lifted where they live.
Researchers noted that although Republicans are more likely to be concerned about the economic damage caused by the statewide orders, they are also largely in support of current measures.
About 53 percent of Republicans surveyed said they supported a slower reopening, and just 17% said they believed government restrictions represented a strain on their individual freedom, ABC News reported.
RELATED VIDEO: Anderson Cooper Goes Viral Pressing Vegas Mayor on Her Back-to-Work Coronavirus Stance
Although protestors in several states — including Michigan, Ohio, Utah and Kentucky — have signaled their desire to return to work, health officials have warned that prematurely loosening restrictions will lead to more fatalities.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has also spoken out against mass demonstrations, noting that while people have a right to protest, coming together in large numbers will likely increase infection rates.
“The more that they’re out and about, the more likely they are to spread COVID-19 [the disease caused by the coronavirus] and the more likely we’re going to have to take this posture for a longer period of time,” Whitmer told CNN this week.
Following a wave of demonstrations in Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear announced last week that the state had recorded their largest single-day increase in new cases.
“We do have some folks up here in Kentucky today, saying we should reopen Kentucky immediately, right now,” Beshear said at a press conference last weekend, according to Newsweek. “Folks, that would kill people. It would absolutely kill people.”
A Wisconsin rally, expected to draw thousands, is also expected to take place on Friday. The state’s stay-at-home order was recently extended to last until May 26.
As of Friday, there have been at least 868,954 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, and 44,572 people have died from coronavirus-related illness New York Times database.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.