Americans are pessimistic about the future of the pandemic amid rise in Delta variant

Only 40 per cent of Americans think the pandemic is getting better

Danielle Zoellner
New York
Monday 02 August 2021 20:23
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Americans are getting Covid vaccines in disguise in case their anti-vax family members spot them

Americans have expressed increased pessimism about the future of the coronavirus pandemic, as infection rates rise due to the highly contagious Delta variant.

In a new Gallup poll released on Monday, only 40 per cent of Americans thought the pandemic was getting better and 45 per cent thought it was getting worse.

This is starkly differed from what Americans thought in June. Last month, 89 per cent thought the situation was getting better while only 3 per cent said it was getting worse.

Also, the July study recorded the first time Americans have been more pessimistic than optimistic about the future of the pandemic since January.

Not only were Americans pessimistic about the future amid the recent surge of the Delta variant, but 42 per cent thought societal disruptions would continue through to the end of 2021 while an additional 41 per cent thought disruptions would go into at least 2022.

When the poll was conducted in June, only 36 per cent thought disruption would go until the end of the year and just 17 per cent thought they would go into the following year.

Pessimism among Americans was not at its peak since the start of the pandemic, though, with the peak being November 2020 when 73 per cent felt unfavourably about the future with the virus.

Government and health officials have doubled down on getting unvaccinated individuals vaccinated in recent weeks amid growing concerns about the highly contagious Delta variant, which was first identified in India.

The United States was recording about 70,000 new Covid-19 cases per day, an increase of nearly 60,000 daily infections in the last six weeks, The Washington Post reports.

Unvaccinated individuals were driving the increased cases, hospitalisations, and deaths, but the recent surge encouraged the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to update its mask guidance for vaccinated individuals amid early data showing they also could spread the novel virus to others.

Cases could increase to 140,000 to 300,000 new infections per day in August, according to disease trackers.

But increased vaccination rates might help the United States get the latest surge under control.

The United States averaged 652,084 vaccine doses per day over the past week, according to the CDC. This was a 27 per cent increase from the previous week’s average, meaning more Americans were encouraged to get the vaccine.

On Monday, the country hit President Joe Biden’s Fourth of July goal of 70 per cent of American adults vaccinated with at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

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