75 Percent of People in These Hard-Hit States Support a Return to Lockdown
A survey found that the vast majority of people in Texas and Arizona agree on stricter measures.
To say that reopening has had its drawbacks in the U.S. is a severe understatement. The country's number of daily new coronavirus cases have skyrocketed past the earlier peak in April, when states such as New Jersey and New York were the most affected. Now, it's mostly Western and Southern states, including Texas and Arizona, that are struggling with a considerable uptick. State officials in both places have responded to those rising numbers by rolling back their reopening plans, shuttering some businesses that had been allowed to start operating again. But, according to a recent poll, the vast majority of citizens in those states want to go further: Most people in Texas and Arizona support a return to lockdown.
Over the first weekend of July, The Harris Poll conducted a survey of individuals in some of the hardest hit states. Arizona has continued to struggle with COVID numbers; the state's daily record stands at 4,797 new cases, which were reported on June 30. The state also has the highest positive percentage rate of coronavirus tests, with 26.8 percent of tests coming back positive. Texas shattered its record once again on July 8, recording 9,952 new cases. Its positive rate is currently 15.6 percent.
In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott ordered bars to cease allowing on-site alcohol consumption in early July and also for dine-in restaurants to decrease capacity. Most other businesses, including movie theaters, remain open. Arizona governor Doug Ducey went slightly further, also ordering that gyms, theaters, and water parks be closed. In both states, churches, retail stores, dine-in restaurants, personal care businesses, and others remain opened. And though you may believe, thanks to what you see on the news and on Facebook, that Americans are divided on stricter measures, the responses to The Harris Poll reveal that Arizonans and Texans want their governments to issue a stronger response.
The company reports that 76 percent of people in Arizona are supportive of another lockdown, and that 72 percent say that they believe the first lockdown was effective. A majority of 61 percent oppose reopening completely, and 35 percent say that Arizona "reopened in a cavalier manner, without critical systems in place to manage and track the virus transmission."
"We hit a record yesterday for [coronavirus] positivity," says Dr. Murtaza Akhter, who has been treating coronavirus patients in the ER in Phoenix, Arizona. "We aren't flattening." https://t.co/WmtPTU6dlw pic.twitter.com/MtLsHG7i4I
— CNN (@CNN) July 9, 2020
In Texas, the numbers are similar: 76 percent of respondents would support another lockdown, and 43 percent think that reopening was premature. As for the manner in which the state reopened, 58 percent oppose the approach.
A similar proportion of respondents in both states—56 percent in Texas and 53 percent in Arizona—partially blame the virus's continued spread on individual citizens behaving "recklessly" and ignoring safety protocols.
Unfortunately, the back-and-forth and missteps in reopening, as well as general social distancing fatigue and confusion about various aspects of coronavirus, seem to have chipped away at individuals' willingness to continue taking safety precautions. The Harris Poll found that, overall, since being polled on the same questions at the end of March, between 9 and 12 percent fewer respondents say that they're willing to do things like quarantine inside, refrain from domestic travel, and stay away from large social gatherings and bars. While the majority of those surveyed claim that they would do those things, percentages have dropped from the 80s and 90s.
And for more on struggling areas, This Suffering State's Sky-High COVID Numbers Are Even Higher in Reality.