Most Americans Fear Protests Will Spread Coronavirus: Poll

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Most Americans fear participating in protests will increase spread of the coronavirus and potentially harm their health, according to an Axios-Ipsos poll released Tuesday.

The vast majority of respondents, 86%, said going to protests and demonstrations was a large or moderate risk to their health, according  to the poll, and only 13% said there was “little to no risk” to their health.

According to the poll, 79% of respondents were worried the protests and demonstrations would result in a spike of coronavirus cases across the country, with 25% saying they were “extremely concerned,” another 25% who were “very concerned,” and 29% who said they were “somewhat concerned,” the poll data showed. (Related: Progressive Group Reportedly Used Phone Data To Track Anti-Lockdown Demonstrators, But Seemingly Didn’t Track George Floyd Protesters)

In general, 60% Democrats, 51% Independents, and 37% Republicans said they were “extremely or very worried” about an increase in COVID-19 cases, according to the poll.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top epidemiologist on the White House’s coronavirus task force, expressed concerns of a possible “resurgence” of cases as a result of protests last week.

Protests have occurred in cities across the country following the May 25 death of George Floyd, who died in Minneapolis police custody after an officer knelt on his neck for more than 8 minutes.

Of the participants, 1 in 10 knew a family member or friend who went to a protest, and 2% of the respondents had been to a protest or demonstration themselves, the poll reported. 16% of Democrats, 3% Republicans and 12% Independents were close to someone who has protested, the poll found.

Just over half of the respondents (53%) said they believed there is a minimal risk to health if Americans “return to work,” while 46% think there is a high risk, according to the poll. Fewer people, 39% of respondents, said they believe there is little risk to health if Americans go out to restaurants, but 60% said going out to restaurants presents a “large, moderate risk,” according to the poll.

The poll surveyed 1,006 adults between June 5 – 8 with a 3.3% margin of error. The survey was part of the ongoing Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

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