Americans re-thinking support for economic re-opening in midst of COVID-19 resurgence

According to a new survey by ROI Rocket, a leading provider of market research-based consulting services, the number of Americans highly concerned about the virus has increased dramatically since the end of May—when community re-openings began in earnest. 

High levels of concern are most pervasive in the South, the region hit hardest by COVID-19 in recent weeks. About two in three Southerners (63%) are concerned about contracting the virus themselves and another 70% worry for someone in their family. 

These fears extend to the workplace and the additional risk of infection returning to work on-site entails. About two in five Southerners (44%) express strong reservations about resuming their precoronavirus work routines compared to only about one in four workers (28%) in other regions of the country.

The resurgent virus and the lack of clear and consistent direction from various levels of government have driven virus management approval ratings to new lows. Confidence in President Trump's handling of the pandemic has most recently bottomed out at about 22% nationally. What's worse for Trump's reelection plans is the fact he's steadily losing support on the issue among his base. Only about one in two Republicans (52%) now approve of the President's response to the crisis. 

Southerners are likewise holding their governors to account. Only about two in five Southerners (39%) have confidence their governors can manage the pandemic compared to 56% in the Northeast where reopenings have been more guarded than in the South.

The nature and pace of re-opening the nation's economy remain hotly-contested partisan issues. Fewer than one in ten Democrats (9%) want re-openings to continue versus about one in three Republicans (35%). By the same token, about four in five Democrats (78%) believe governments should reimpose stay-at-home mandates, only about two in five Republicans (44%) feel the same.

With many, if not most, Americans lacking confidence in government to provide the necessary guidance on how to best combat the virus, it's hard to see which institution or politician can bring Americans together on the issue.