58 Percent of Americans Concerned U.S. Is Moving Too Quickly to Ease Coronavirus Restrictions, Poll Shows

A majority of Americans are more concerned that the government will move too quickly to reopen the economy and ease coronavirus restrictions, while only about a third are concerned that the restrictions will be kept in place too long, according to a new poll.

The new national survey, conducted by NBC News and The Wall Street Journal and published on Sunday, found that 58 percent of respondents were concerned that the U.S. would ease stay-at-home and shelter-in-place guidance too quickly. Meanwhile, just 32 percent of respondents said they were concerned the economy wouldn't be reopened quickly enough.

Additionally, the majority of survey participants said they do not trust what President Donald Trump has said about the coronavirus pandemic. Fifty-two percent said they did not trust Trump, while just 36 percent said they felt the president was trustworthy when it came to the crisis.

Coronavirus Task Force
President Donald Trump looks on as Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during the daily briefing of the White House Coronavirus Task Force on April 16 in Washington, D.C. Alex Wong/Getty

A majority of respondents, 52 percent, disapproved of Trump's management of the coronavirus, while 44 percent of survey participants approved of the president's actions. Those numbers were roughly the same as when the survey was conducted in March, when 45 percent of respondents approved of Trump, while 51 percent disapproved.

"In every crisis, we go through this coming-together phase. And then we come to the recrimination phase," pollster Peter Hart, who conducted the survey, told NBC News.

"President Trump faces some tough sledding ahead in the recrimination phase."

The poll results came as government officials at the state and federal level have begun planning for how to safely reopen the economy. Meanwhile, protesters have descended on capitals in several states across the country to demonstrate against stay-at-home orders and to call for the country to be reopened. Trump has voiced support for these demonstrations, despite protesters disregarding the guidelines put forward by the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

Guidelines from the White House call for states to begin reopening their economies if they see a downward trajectory of symptoms of the coronavirus and new confirmed cases of COVID-19 for two weeks. States must also have a "robust testing program in place for at-risk healthcare workers, including emerging antibody testing."

If states meet these criteria, they can begin relaxing restrictions but should maintain many social distancing precautions. The White House guidelines call for avoiding public gatherings of more than 10 people within the first phase of reopening. Additionally, non-essential travel should be minimized and vulnerable individuals should continue to isolate themselves.

As of early Sunday afternoon, nearly 723,000 people were confirmed to have the coronavirus in the U.S., according to a tracker updated by Johns Hopkins University. Of those infected, nearly 34,000 have died while close to 65,000 have already recovered.