Most Americans Would Rather Control COVID-19 Spread Than Protect Economy: Poll

Most Americans would rather see the U.S. focus on controlling the spread of coronavirus despite the potential economic impacts than focus on economic recovery and risk spreading the disease further, a new poll has found.

In a new ABC News/Washington Post poll that saw just over 1,000 people surveyed between July 12 and July 15, 63 percent of Americans said they would rather see the U.S. prioritize controlling the spread of COVID-19, even if it meant hurting the economy.

Meanwhile, just 33 percent of those polled said they would rather see the country focus on economic recovery, even if it meant hampering efforts to control the spread of the virus.

The 30-point gap has widened from 20 points in late May, when 57 percent of people said they believed it was important to prioritize limiting the spread of coronavirus over restarting the economy.

At the time, 37 percent of respondents said they felt the opposite.

As more Americans say they would rather prioritize controlling the spread of COVID-19, concerns around catching the virus were found to remain high, with 66 percent of respondents saying they were "very" or "somewhat worried" that they or an immediate family member could become infected. Meanwhile, an additional 5 percent of Americans said that has already happened.

The poll's findings come as President Donald Trump continues to push to open the U.S. economy up, while also facing backlash over his leadership on curbing the spread of coronavirus.

Approval for Trump's handling of the pandemic appears to reflect that, with the poll finding disparities between those who are in favor of prioritizing the economy and those who would rather focus on controlling the spread of the virus.

Among those who believe the U.S. should focus on restarting the economy, the the president's efforts earned the approval of 78 percent.

However, among those who want to control the spread of COVID-19, 17 percent approved of the president's job so far.

Overall, approval of the president's handling of the situation has fallen across party lines, according to the poll.

Among Republicans, approval was at 79 percent, however it had dropped by 9 points. Among independents, approval had dropped by the same number of points, at 39 percent.

Meanwhile, approval for the president plummeted by 21 points to a meager 4 percent among Democrats.

Trust in what the president says about the pandemic also appears to fall along partisan lines, with 71 percent of Republicans and 30 percent of independents trusting what Trump says.

Just 6 percent of Democrats said they trusted what the president has to say on the coronavirus outbreak.

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump wears a mask as he visits Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland' on July 11, 2020. The president has maintained a focus on seeing the economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic. ALEX EDELMAN/AFP/Getty