The percent of Republicans who say the coronavirus is more deadly than the seasonal flu has decreased slightly over time, while for the rest of Americans, it has gone up significantly, reveals a new Gallup/Knight Foundation poll that reflects a partisan divide over the pandemic.
Only 40% of Republicans say the death rate for coronavirus is greater than that of the seasonal flu in a poll conducted April 14-20, lower than the 42% who said so a month earlier.
This contrasts greatly with Democrats, with 87% saying the coronavirus death rate is greater than that of the flu in the latest figures, a 13-point increase from the 74% who said so the previous month.
Independents also showed an increase in those stating the coronavirus death rate is greater, going from 61% in the March survey to 67% in the latest poll.
The Republican skepticism of the deadliness of the coronavirus also flies in the face of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recently stated its "best estimate" is that about 0.4% of people who show symptoms and have coronavirus will die, four times higher than the 0.1% who die from the flu, according to CNN.
Other results from the survey also show a sharp partisan divide on the issue:
- Republicans are 10 times as likely as Democrats to say the coronavirus death count is overstated — 50% vs. 5%, respectively. Thirty percent of independents say the same.
- Most Democrats, 72%, believe the death count is understated, while 44% of independents and just 19% of Republicans think the same.
The poll was conducted online April 14-20, with a random sample of 1,693 adults and has a margin of sampling error of +/-3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.
Brian Freeman ✉
Brian Freeman, a Newsmax writer based in Israel, has more than three decades writing and editing about culture and politics for newspapers, online and television.
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