Fewer Americans calling coronavirus a 'real threat' than 6 weeks ago, poll finds

Fewer Americans are calling the new coronavirus a "real threat" than at the beginning of February, and more are calling the threat overblown, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

The survey polled 835 adults via the telephone on March 13 and March 14.

The survey shows:

1. Fifty-six percent of respondents consider the new coronavirus a "real threat," a 10-percentage point drop from a NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll conducted on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, which showed 66 percent of Americans considered the new virus a threat.

2. Around 38 percent of respondents said the new coronavirus is blown out of proportion in the new poll, compared to about 27 percent in the previous poll.

3. Views on the coronavirus pandemic changed in accordance with party affiliation in the new poll, with a majority of Democrats (76 percent) saying the new virus is a real threat, and a majority of Republicans (54 percent) saying it's blown out of proportion.

4. About 70 percent of respondents are concerned or very concerned about the spread of coronavirus in their community.

5. Americans are changing behaviors in response to the pandemic, with 48 percent saying they've canceled plans to avoid crowds, and 46 percent saying they have decided to eat at home more.

6. About 42 percent of respondents reported stocking up on food or supplies.

More articles on public health:
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5 tips on talking to patients about coronavirus, from NIH Director Dr. Anthony Fauci
5 health systems with in-house COVID-19 testing

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