Fifty-four percent of Americans said that the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is still ahead of us compared to 46% who said the worst is behind us, according to a Harris Poll released this week.
The survey represents a stark decline in just the past few weeks in the number of Americans who believe the worst days of the pandemic are over, as at the beginning of last month 70% of respondents told Harris that the worst of the pandemic was behind us.
At the beginning of June, when vaccines were widely available in the United States, more than three-quarters of respondents said they thought that the worst was behind us.
The polling company attributed the sharp drop in public belief that the worst of the pandemic is behind us to the surge of the Delta variant.
Seventy-six percent of respondents in the poll said they were "very" or "somewhat" concerned about the Delta variant, compared to 24% who were "not at all" or "not too concerned."
Harris Poll CEO John Gerzema told Axios "it’s clear we are still far from ‘Mission Accomplished’ on COVID."
Concerns about the variant have caused some areas to reimpose mask mandates, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tightening its mask guidance last month to advise that even fully vaccinated people should wear masks in certain indoor settings in areas of "substantial" or "high" risks of transmission, according to The Hill.
The poll was conducted online from July 30 to August 1 among a sample of 2,026 adults. It does not list a margin of sampling error.
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