Two-thirds of Americans are now worried about personally experiencing COVID-19

Linley SandersData Journalist
July 07, 2020, 12:00 PM UTC

As coronavirus cases continue to rise across the United States, about two-thirds of Americans (65%) are now worried about personally contracting the illness. In the latest Economist/YouGov Poll, the number of Democrats who are concerned about getting sick with the virus reached a new high (85%) as the nation reports record numbers of new cases.

About half of Republicans (47%) are concerned about contracting COVID-19. This number is down from the highest level of Republican concern about getting sick (61%), which took place in early April as the number of cases was also rapidly rising. Despite the recent increase in cases, the nation as a whole has not surpassed the level of concern seen in early April (69%).

Black Americans (77%) are more likely than Hispanic Americans (66%) and white Americans (62%) this week to be very or somewhat concerned about contracting coronavirus. A recent analysis of federal data from The New York Times indicates that “Latino and African-American residents of the United States have been three times as likely to become infected [with COVID-19] as their white neighbors.” 

YouGov data indicates that about one in five Black (19%) and Hispanic (19%) Americans personally know someone who has died from COVID-19. About one in nine white Americans (11%) say the same. 

Hispanic Americans appear to be experiencing more economic hardships from the coronavirus — nearly half (47%) say they have been personally laid off or had a family member get laid off. About one-third (33%) of white Americans and a quarter (27%) of Black Americans have been laid off or had a family member lose their job because of the pandemic. One-third of Hispanic Americans (32%) have had work hours reduced compared to one in five (20%) Americans overall. 

See the toplines and crosstabs from the Economist/YouGov Poll 

Related: Americans believe the United States was a "shining city on a hill" — but not anymore

MethodologyThe Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 U.S. adult citizens interviewed online between June 28 - 30, 2020. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the US Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote and voter registration status. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all US citizens. The margin of error is approximately 3.3% for the overall sample.  

Image: Getty