Trump is letting his social distancing guidelines expire, but 76% of Americans support or strongly support locking down for another 2 weeks

OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty ImagesPedestrians walk past a sign in front of the The Anthem, a popular live music venue, displaying a message of support amid the coronavirus pandemic, on April 29, 2020, in Washington, DC.
  • An Insider poll featuring 1,099 respondents found that the majority of Americans want to continue social distancing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • The responses suggest that protests in Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin calling for nonessential businesses in their states to be reopened represent just a small fraction of Americans.
  • Half of respondents said they strongly support the government enforcing social distancing measures for at least two more weeks, and another 25.48% of respondents said they, too, would support the measures.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

More than 75% of Americans support the government enforcing social distancing measures for another two weeks to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to a new Insider poll.

The poll, featuring 1,099 participants, suggests that protests in Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin calling for nonessential businesses in their states to be reopened represent just a small fraction of Americans, and more often than not, people want to be safe before restrictions are lifted.

The poll was conducted on April 28-29, before President Donald Trump said the federal government would not extend its social distancing guidelines after they expire on Thursday.

Of the respondents, half said they strongly supported enforced social distancing measures being carried out for at least two more weeks, and another quarter of respondents said they would support those measures. About 14% of respondents had no opinion, while just 11% were against continuing social distancing measures – 6% saying they opposed them, and 4% saying they strongly opposed them.

More than 1.04 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the United States, and 61,288 people have died.

The poll comes more than a month after bars, gyms, and schools were shuttered, and people were told to stand six feet apart to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 – and it shows that the country largely believes Americans should continue to social distance.

Experts warn hundreds of thousands of Americans could die if we lift stay-at-home orders too soon

Federal guidelines that expire Thursday, after being in place for 45 days, encouraged Americans to social distance, avoid gatherings, and isolate themselves if they were older or had underlying health issues.

Trump said he hopes to resume campaign travel and out-of-state visits in coming months, despite medical experts saying a vaccine will not be ready by then.

“I don’t want people to get used to this,” Trump told reporters on Wednesday. “I see the new normal being what it was three months ago.”

Governors have enacted stay-at-home orders for their states, but some have started to lift them, including Texas, where Gov. Greg Abbot wants to reopen businesses by Friday. Others are on a similar track, with officials in Georgia already reopening businesses, and Florida aiming for Monday.

But in order to open the country safely, plans from Harvard and Johns Hopkins say the US needs to test 20 million people for the disease per day by July, hire 100,000 contract tracers to track the spread of the virus, and give Americans more healthcare and job protection.

Even the White House’s roadmap for reopening is based on states reporting a downward trajectory in the number of cases and “robust testing” in place to ensure outbreaks aren’t continuing to spread. The US is currently only testing about 500,000 to 600,000 people per day, according to data from The COVID Tracking Project.

If we lift public health orders too quickly, experts warn that hundreds of thousands more people could die from COVID-19 in the US.

“We have at this moment the finger on the spring. If we remove the finger, the spring jumps. So we will see a lot of cases,”Juan Gutierrez, a mathematical biology professor at the University of Texas in San Antonio, told NPR and CPI.

SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn’t try to weigh its sample based on race or income. A total of 1,099

respondents were collected April 28-29, 2020, with a margin of error plus or minus 3 percentage points and a 95% confidence level.

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