Poll: Skepticism amongst Americans growing over coronavirus death count

By Harry Whitehead

Americans are becoming increasingly more skeptical about the reported coronavirus death count, a Tuesday poll suggests.

Over 140,000 people have died from coronavirus in the United States as of July 20, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Axios-Ipsos poll released Tuesday shows 31% of Americans believe that the number of deaths is lower than what is being reported. 58% of Republicans and 9% of Democrats believed that “the real number of deaths is less than the official count.”

Just 16% of Republicans and 61% of Democrats say the number is more than what is being reported.

The poll also showed 74% of Americans believed other Americans are “behaving in ways that make the pandemic somewhat or much worse,” compared with 65% of Republicans and 83% of Democrats.

The survey showed 44% of Americans visited friends and relatives in the past week, but only 18% said that they wore a face mask at all times and only 23% reported they maintained a 6- foot distance at all times. As many as 62% of Americans report wearing face masks when leaving the home, the poll suggested.

Masks are now required in 28 states across the country and recommended by the CDC and World Health Organization, according to CNBC. Many private businesses, including Walmart and Starbucks require face masks while in their stores, even if they are in a state that does not mandate face masks for residents.

The CDC is trusted by 70% of Americans, while 65% trust national public health officials. The White House is the least trusted (31%), and state governments are trusted by a 57% majority of Americans, the poll reported.

The poll was conducted July 17 -20 and based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1037 people aged 18 and older, with a margin of error of +/- 3.1-3.4 percentage points.

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Image courtesy of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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