Photo by Rose Ayers-Etherington
Photo by Rose Ayers-Etherington

USA TODAY and Ipsos conducted a nationwide poll about COVID-19 on March 10-11, when the pandemic was gaining steam. At the time, the World Health Organization had reported more than 100,000 coronavirus cases worldwide, and President Donald Trump had curtailed entry from foreign nationals who had visited China in the previous two weeks. He declared a national emergency a few days later, on March 13.

One month later, last Thursday and Friday, the same poll measured how public attitudes changed as the reality on the ground worsened. More than 95% of the U.S. population is under statewide stay-at-home orders, and the number of deaths in the country has passed 21,000. 

Each of the online surveys polled 1,005 adults nationwide. The credibility interval, akin to a margin of error, is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

The poll found a sharpened sense of the dangers and an increasingly somber assessment of the challenges ahead. Trust in governors to provide accurate information  has grown by double-digits.

“America is a different place than it was a month ago,” says Cliff Young, president of Ipsos. “In that time, we’ve seen Americans take a collective pause from public gatherings, a decline in consumer confidence and rising anxiety levels. The changes we’ve seen in this poll highlight our COVID-19 world.”

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