OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Breitbart news is reporting on the findings of a new Harris Poll.
The survey, fielded March 21-22 among 2,023 U.S. adults, found that a majority of Americans, 61 percent, now consider the amount of fear in society as “sensible given how serious the [coronavirus] pandemic has become.” That reflects a 15-point jump from the 46 percent of Americans who viewed the fear as warranted last week.
The survey also reviewed the issues people are “increasingly concerned about” and found that concerns over the economy surpass all other worries, including personal health.
Eighty-four percent of respondents, surveyed March 13-14, said they were growing increasingly concerned over the state of the economy, but at the time, worries over the health of older friends and relatives topped the list, with 86 percent. While those concerns have risen over the course of the last week, worries over the economy now top the list, with 91 percent of Americans indicating unease. Meanwhile, 75 percent say they are concerned about their personal health, 90 percent say they are worried about older relatives and friends, and 87 percent indicate concern over the health of Americans “broadly.”
People are worrying more about the economy than their own personal health situation. Although more American’s feel the concerns about the virus are warranted, I would expect fears about the economy to become increasingly pronounced as more and more people lose their jobs.
There is no doubt this virus is serious and can be very scary in the severe cases. However, it is also very scary to have up to 30% unemployment. That would be unprecedented in American history and would have very serious consequences on the life and health of people.
I do not have the answer to the dilemma between public health from a medical standpoint versus the public health from an economic standpoint. That is a very delicate balance. But it must be balanced! We cannot just throw out the impact that the economy also has on people. The economy affects people’s abilities to have food and shelter, and also healthcare!
How do YOU think the economic needs of the American people should be balanced against the medical needs of the country?