An overwhelming majority of Americans, Republicans included, are rejecting right-wing protests — encouraged by President Trump — to immediately “reopen” the country in the midst of the world’s largest and deadliest coronavirus outbreak, according to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll.
The survey, conducted April 17 to April 19, found that a full 60 percent of the public opposes the largely pro-Trump protesters whose calls for governors to “liberate” their states by lifting lockdown measures have attracted intense media attention in recent days — and whose message the president amplified Friday in a series of all-caps “LIBERATE” tweets about three swing states: Minnesota, Michigan and Virginia.
Only 22 percent of Americans say they support the protesters. Despite Trump’s messaging, even Republicans oppose the protests 47 percent to 36 percent. Asked whether they agree or disagree with Trump’s “LIBERATE” tweets, only a quarter of Americans say they agree.
The total number of protesters may be small. But the public’s dismissive attitude toward them reflects a deeper sentiment: Americans strongly disagree with those who claim the country is ready to reopen for business.
The margins aren’t close. Seventy-one percent of Americans — and 56 percent of Republicans — say they are more concerned about lifting the coronavirus restrictions too quickly than lifting them too slowly. Only 29 percent of Americans say the opposite. The same number (71 percent) say they want public health officials “to be fully able to test and trace new cases and outbreaks” before reopening; only 29 percent say they want the country to reopen “as soon as possible to prevent further economic damage.” And more than twice as many Americans say the U.S. is not conducting enough coronavirus testing to track future outbreaks of the virus (52 percent) than say it is (22 percent).