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An in-depth conversation with American voters
APRIL 2020
Navigating COVID-19
APRIL 2020
2
In March, GPG hosted a conversation with
Americans to see how they were feeling and
how institutions, specifically brands, can help.
We decided to do it again, but this time we
focused on how Americans are beginning to
think about the future:
• What do Americans expect from businesses?
• What are Americans’ expectations for reopening
and returning to work?
• How can we do it safely?
• The Glover Park Group’s Research and
Insights practice conducted a 60-minute
online caucus on April 20, 2020 among 314
news attentive and civically engaged voters
nationwide.
• A caucus session functions similarly to an online
focus group at scale, providing a space for in-
depth discussion with traditional polling questions
to quantify key topics.
AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS
Polling data included in the report should be considered directional. It provides
insight into broad trends in public opinion but is not statistically significant.
Key Insights
AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS APRIL 2020
• They want to see significant progress before they return to normal, such as a vaccine in
place, widespread diagnostic testing, and a marked reduction in new infections. They
expect a long road ahead and a second outbreak.
• To ease anxieties about a second wave, people expect a gradual return based on
comprehensive testing. But more sophisticated track and trace programs face
challenges ahead as mistrust toward institutions and data security runs high.
APRIL 2020
4
Democrats and Republicans look at the economic
consequences of COVID-19 through overlapping yet
distinctive lenses.
• Both groups are very concerned about education and mental health. But while
Republicans are more concerned with rising deficits, Democrats are more focused
on state/local budgets, the economic impact on Millennials as they face
challenges in the job market, and rising inequality.
Americans give credit to companies and CEOs who have
stepped up to the plate.
But they’re watching closely to see if companies do the
right thing for their employees.
• They place a premium on companies that switched their focus to helping those on
the front lines or have kept Americans connected, whether physically or virtually.
They credit leaders who have given up salaries or donated huge sums.
• There is a newfound sense of empathy and awareness for those who put their own
health and safety at risk for others, and businesses are expected to protect them and
pay them fairly.
Americans are cautious about reopening and are not
willing to put their health on the line.
They support testing and a staggered return, but express
strong reservations about track and trace programs.
AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS
Findings at-a-glance:
• Meet the pressing need to hear common sense steps on how to get back to normal
and how you are adapting to meet the new circumstances.
• Americans will look for reassurance that plans for reopening are supported and
endorsed by medical experts, not driven by profits.
APRIL 2020
5
Speak to shared priorities but be mindful of what matters
to those on the left and the right.
• Find ways to connect to shared anxieties for all Americans, whether that’s the impact
on education or mental health and well-being.
• Be alert to how COVID-19 has amplified progressives’ concerns about rising
inequality, and conservatives’ anxieties toward deficit levels.
Make sure there is no gap between your stated values
and how you are acting as an employer.
• With the situation of frontline workers and rising job losses at the forefront of minds,
Americans want to make sure brands are walking the talk when it comes to their
values – and will judge those who fail to live up to them.
• While Americans accept the need for furloughs and layoffs, they want companies to
approach these tough decisions in ways that signal decency, dignity, and respect.
As Americans tire of the political blame game, fill the
gap by outlining practical steps for returning to
normalcy, rooted in safety and science.
AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS
Key considerations:
Current Mindset &
Expectations
APRIL 2020AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS
Focused attention on how companies treat their employees.
APRIL 2020
7
AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS
Are you protecting workers on
the frontlines?
• Americans want to know that
companies are providing
adequate protective gear and
access to paid sick leave for
heroes on the frontline, including
those working in hospitals and
essential services to keep
America running.
Are you paying a fair wage?
• Recognition of essential
workers that Americans
previously took for granted
has raised new questions
about fair pay and amplified
calls for hazard pay.
“Grocery stores haven’t been paying their employees enough. They’ve
been keeping everyone’s families alive. All in all, it’s about short-term
profits and human life is somewhere way, way down the list of priorities.”
Are you giving health coverage
to those you furloughed?
• People accept the need to
furlough workers as business
comes to a halt but call on
companies to continue to provide
health benefits.
Rank the risk of infection among
essential workers as the national
challenge they are worried about most65%
APRIL 2020
8
AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS
How companies and leaders can step up and stand out:
Using distinctive capabilities to fight the virus: ü Retooling supply chains to make ventilators,
sanitizer, and masks
ü Developing new tools to track and trace infections
ü CEOs taking pay cuts, using their salary to cover
wages, or donating to medical and health causes.
ü Supporting the race to find a treatment and vaccine
ü Physically (mail and delivery, curbside pickup)
ü And virtually (digital tools for delivery and human connection)
Keeping America connected:
Making personal sacrifices:
But fear of getting sick continues to drive
deep anxiety.
APRIL 2020
9
Americans are experiencing the
economic fallout firsthand.
AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS
• Reflecting on their own lives and friends and family:
• When asked about how their lives have changed,
most focus on work, including the stress of reduced
hours, layoffs or remote work.
• Uncertainty about the future is pervasive. Those who
still work wonder if it will last.
• Despite widespread economic hardship and anxieties,
most Americans continue to prioritize protecting lives
over protecting the economy.
• People frequently discuss concerns about the health
and safety of friends and family who are higher risk.
“My business is down 85%. Hardly any work. Wondering if my
business will be viable in the near future.”
“I worry that someone I love will get sick and die. I have
a lot of family members with health issues that put
them at higher risk.”
78%
have been impacted professionally
/ economically or know someone
who was impacted
38%
have been sick or
know somebody who
was sick
“I don't think we can throw all the old and sick people
under the bus so we can make money. Saving lives
has to come first.”
APRIL 2020
10
AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS
• Nearly half (48%) say they will continue to social
distance and shelter in place for as long as it takes.
• Consensus that we have months, not weeks, before we
can safely reopen.
15%
45%
36%
Just the beginning /
many more months ahead
Near the middle /
a few months left
Near the end /
over in a few weeks
“It is not worth the risk to open the country this soon,
especially after they say its going to get worse and this is
just the beginning.”
Americans anticipate a long road ahead. But they are willing to stay the course.
5%
12%
26%
6%
48%
Less than one
more month /
cannot do it any
longer
1 more month 2-4 more
months
5-6 more
months
As long as it
takes
APRIL 2020
11
Democrats and Republicans differ in their outlook for the future.
AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS
2%
10%
27%
4%
55%
9%
20%
28%
7%
34%
Less than
another
month /
cannot do it
any longer
1 more month 2-4 more
months
5-6 more
months
As long as it
takes
D
R
26%
40%
30%
8%
45%
43%Just the beginning /
many more months ahead
Near the middle /
a few months left
Near the end /
Over in a few weeks
Democrats
Republicans
• Democrats are more cautious than Republicans
when they estimate how much time we have left
social distancing and staying at home.
• More than half of Democrats say they will stay home as long
as it takes, compared to one-third of Republicans.
APRIL 2020
12
But both parties fear a second wave that does even more damage.
• Nearly everyone (93% all voters, 95% Democrats, 90%
Republicans) thinks a second wave will happen, especially
if we open too soon.
AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS
54%
very
likely
39%
somewhat
likely
93%
likely to
experience a
second wave
“If the country opens too soon, we will have to deal
with this virus from the beginning. It will repeat and
take longer the second time around.”
“The risk of rebound infection is too great, and we will
end up as bad or worse than when this began.”
“History shows us that the second wave is worse. This
isn't a freedom issue. You don't have the freedom to
do whatever you want if it impacts others negatively.
It's just postponing progress.”
2%
not sure
2%
not likely
at all3%
not that
likely
APRIL 2020
13
Given anxieties about a second wave, Americans place a high bar on what it
takes to reopen safely.
AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS
• Both Democrats and Republicans rank access to a vaccine, diagnostic testing, and a decrease in new infections as
the three most important preconditions to open the country safely.
• However, Democratic support is stronger than Republican support for measures that require shoring up the health care
system, including developing and administering a vaccine and making diagnostic testing widely available.
58%
51%
43%
39% 36%
44%
Vacccine becomes
widely available
Diagnostic testing
becomes widely
available
Public health data
shows a decrease in
new infections
D
R
“I am very leery about reopening, ideally we will
have a vaccine or a decent treatment.”
“We need the ability to go to a hospital with proper
equipment and access to testing.”
“The curve definitely needs to be flattened. The
government needs to make a statement that cases
around the country have gone down significantly.”
All Voters D R
Top tier issues Impact on mental health 62% 71% 51%
Restarting K-12 education 59% 61% 56%
Budget crises at state and local level 56% 61% 46%
High unemployment among Millennials 54% 58% 44%
Addressing the federal budget 52% 47% 60%
Widening economic inequality 45% 57% 25%
Calls for higher wages and paid sick leave for hourly workers 43% 53% 25%
Tying health insurance to employment 38% 45% 22%
Treating internet access as an essential utility 36% 42% 27%
Deepening racial inequality 30% 47% 6%
Shared concerns about the social impact of the pandemic, but businesses
will need speak to different priorities when it comes to the economic impact.
APRIL 2020
14
AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS
• Majority of both parties focus
on social issues, including mental
health and education.
• Republicans focus on the federal
budget over state and local
budgets – a contrast to
Democrats. Democrats are also
more likely to focus on the
economic impact on Millennials.
• Democrats are more likely to
worry about rising inequality and
access to essential benefits and
utilities.
Getting Back
APRIL 2020AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS APRIL 2020
APRIL 2020
16
Participants reacted to three different approaches to reopening:
AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS
*Antibody testing/staggered return
One scenario for returning to normal life would require states to begin testing large portions of their population to identify who is currently sick, who has
already had the virus and developed antibodies that protect them from getting the virus again, and who is still at risk for infection. With this information,
it would be possible to allow certain people to return to more normal life if they are not at risk of getting the infection themselves or at risk of spreading it
to other people. States would be able to stagger the return to business as usual, meaning that some people would have the opportunity and freedom to
leave their homes and return to work, while others would have to stay at home and continue isolation.
Track and trace (moderate)
Another scenario that could help the country return to normal life involves using technology and data collected through individuals’ cell phones to
track new cases of the coronavirus and trace potential new infections. For example, an app could alert you if you come into contact with someone
who has tested positive for the virus. The app would use your phone’s Bluetooth signals to determine if you’ve been close to anyone who has tested
positive for a long enough period of time to be at risk of infection. If you are at risk, the app would push a notification to your phone, notifying you
about your possible exposure and encouraging you to quarantine for two weeks to avoid triggering another outbreak of the virus.
Track and trace (aggressive)
Some countries currently have even more aggressive test-and-trace systems in place that allow government security agencies to directly access
location data from people’s cell phones and share it with health officials. Data from all citizens is monitored, rather than allowing people to opt-in or
opt-out of sharing their personal information with the government. In addition to texting people who may have been exposed to the virus, some
governments are also collecting location data to monitor whether people are staying home and complying with quarantine rules. People who break
self-quarantine order can face prison time or thousands of dollars in fines.
1
2
3
* Tested before WHO statement that there is no evidence of COVID-19 immunity from antibodies.
APRIL 2020
17
Strong support for antibody testing
and a staggered return.
AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS
But people are quick to question feasibility
and effectiveness, including:
• Two-in-three support antibody testing to determine
who can return to society versus who is still vulnerable
and must continue to stay home.
• People are drawn to this approach because it is:
ü Comprehensive;
ü Evidence-based; and
ü Allows for a gradual reopening.
“It seems comprehensive and allows for a gradual return
without anyone endangering themselves without knowing
their personal risk.”
ü Do we have capacity for widespread testing?
ü How will the logistics be managed?
ü Are antibody tests accurate?
ü Do we know enough about immunity?
ü Would this be based on an honor system?
ü How can this be implemented fairly if some have
freedom and others must stay home?
“I think it’s good, but we also don’t seem to know enough
yet about the antibody responses, how accurate the
testing is, or if those who have had it can still spread it.”
APRIL 2020
18
Tracking and tracing programs will have to overcome mistrust towards
institutions and concerns about data sharing that predate the pandemic.
AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS
18%
27%
65%
71%
58%
21%
Bad idea Good idea
Antibody testing/
staggered return
Moderate
track and trace
Aggressive
track and trace
✕ Infringement on American values / civil liberties 60%
✕ Slippery slope / companies could use data for profit 52%
✕ Government surveillance, like the Patriot Act 49%
✕ Data could be used to profile, target, and discriminate 43%
✕ Not feasible in a country as large as the United States. 39%
✕ Would make millions of Americans susceptible to a hack. 31%
✕ Would collect information about children and youth. 20%
• Among both Democrats and Republicans, potential
scenarios to reopen society receive less support the
more they rely on collecting and sharing personal data.
• Top concerns point to deep unease towards sharing
personal information with big business and government.
APRIL 2020
19
Conversations around track and trace programs quickly lead to anxieties
about infringing American values and potential for discrimination.
Even a moderate version
triggers fears of Big Brother
Fears about targeting people
who are sick and denying
coverage
AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS
• “No thanks, George Orwell. Big brother isn't welcome on my phone any more than it already is.”
• “Who watches the watchmen?”
• “I cannot believe anyone with a working mind would think it is a good idea to let the government track
their every move?”
• “This is a violation of the 4th amendment and HIPPA. Additionally, individuals would use this data to
target and attack those who are sick or make them pariahs.”
• “My information would need to remain strictly private and not become a part of some insurance
company's database to be used against me later.”
Feels un-American to many • “It sounds like something a dictatorship would do.”
• “I could not hate it more, and I don't care what "other countries" do. They do not have our freedoms or
our constitution…Go move there if you want this kind of control.”
APRIL 2020
20
AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS
“No safeguards would make me feel comfortable with
this. Someone could hack it and the company could
use it. No one reads those huge privacy statements.”
“With the hacking of so many sites and the stealing
of information, no amount of "safeguards" would
make me feel good about this at all.”
• Longstanding fears about data breaches make
Americans anxious about data being stolen, even with
safeguards in place.
14%
17%
18%
27%
30%
39%
53%
Not allowed to collect data from minors
A government agency would oversee the process
Not able to link to demographic information
The data would have a shelf life / only accessible
for a few months
Only allowed to use the data for coronavirus-
related efforts
Only collect data from Americans who opt into the
program
The data would be anonymized / could not be
linked back to individuals
Fears about data security are more
top of mind than data privacy.
Americans prioritize safeguards that focus
on aggregate data and establish clear
boundaries.
APRIL 2020
21
AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS
• Most effective argument in favor of track and trace
highlights how it will mitigate the risk of a second
outbreak that overwhelms hospitals.
• Comparisons to the Patriot Act and 9/11 fail to land.
Americans are more likely to remember this as a breach
of civil liberties than an effective way to save lives.
40%
40%
42%
45%
54%
58%
56%
54%
51%
42%
Share personal information to save
lives, like the Patriot Act after 9/11
Avoid a recession or depression
Get back to work faster
Works in other countries
Limit future outbreaks
Not ConvincingConvincing
• Americans are most likely to feel comfortable sharing
their information if trusted organizations in science and
health are involved, like the CDC, hospitals and health
care systems.
“The only place I would trust with this information is a
hospital because the doctors and nurses are bound
by health privacy laws.”
“I don't trust anybody with that kind of information but
if I had to choose one entity, it would be my doctor,
not the government.”
Important to speak to cost of inaction. Partnering with science and health
experts will also be key.
1025 F Street NW, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20004
202.337.0808 | GPG.COM3 Columbus Circle, Floor 18
New York, NY 10019
Email research@gpg.com for more insights specific to your organization, company, or industry, or how
our Caucus platform can provide a read on Americans’ attitudes.

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Navigating COVID-19

  • 1. An in-depth conversation with American voters APRIL 2020 Navigating COVID-19
  • 2. APRIL 2020 2 In March, GPG hosted a conversation with Americans to see how they were feeling and how institutions, specifically brands, can help. We decided to do it again, but this time we focused on how Americans are beginning to think about the future: • What do Americans expect from businesses? • What are Americans’ expectations for reopening and returning to work? • How can we do it safely? • The Glover Park Group’s Research and Insights practice conducted a 60-minute online caucus on April 20, 2020 among 314 news attentive and civically engaged voters nationwide. • A caucus session functions similarly to an online focus group at scale, providing a space for in- depth discussion with traditional polling questions to quantify key topics. AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS Polling data included in the report should be considered directional. It provides insight into broad trends in public opinion but is not statistically significant.
  • 3. Key Insights AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS APRIL 2020
  • 4. • They want to see significant progress before they return to normal, such as a vaccine in place, widespread diagnostic testing, and a marked reduction in new infections. They expect a long road ahead and a second outbreak. • To ease anxieties about a second wave, people expect a gradual return based on comprehensive testing. But more sophisticated track and trace programs face challenges ahead as mistrust toward institutions and data security runs high. APRIL 2020 4 Democrats and Republicans look at the economic consequences of COVID-19 through overlapping yet distinctive lenses. • Both groups are very concerned about education and mental health. But while Republicans are more concerned with rising deficits, Democrats are more focused on state/local budgets, the economic impact on Millennials as they face challenges in the job market, and rising inequality. Americans give credit to companies and CEOs who have stepped up to the plate. But they’re watching closely to see if companies do the right thing for their employees. • They place a premium on companies that switched their focus to helping those on the front lines or have kept Americans connected, whether physically or virtually. They credit leaders who have given up salaries or donated huge sums. • There is a newfound sense of empathy and awareness for those who put their own health and safety at risk for others, and businesses are expected to protect them and pay them fairly. Americans are cautious about reopening and are not willing to put their health on the line. They support testing and a staggered return, but express strong reservations about track and trace programs. AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS Findings at-a-glance:
  • 5. • Meet the pressing need to hear common sense steps on how to get back to normal and how you are adapting to meet the new circumstances. • Americans will look for reassurance that plans for reopening are supported and endorsed by medical experts, not driven by profits. APRIL 2020 5 Speak to shared priorities but be mindful of what matters to those on the left and the right. • Find ways to connect to shared anxieties for all Americans, whether that’s the impact on education or mental health and well-being. • Be alert to how COVID-19 has amplified progressives’ concerns about rising inequality, and conservatives’ anxieties toward deficit levels. Make sure there is no gap between your stated values and how you are acting as an employer. • With the situation of frontline workers and rising job losses at the forefront of minds, Americans want to make sure brands are walking the talk when it comes to their values – and will judge those who fail to live up to them. • While Americans accept the need for furloughs and layoffs, they want companies to approach these tough decisions in ways that signal decency, dignity, and respect. As Americans tire of the political blame game, fill the gap by outlining practical steps for returning to normalcy, rooted in safety and science. AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS Key considerations:
  • 6. Current Mindset & Expectations APRIL 2020AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS
  • 7. Focused attention on how companies treat their employees. APRIL 2020 7 AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS Are you protecting workers on the frontlines? • Americans want to know that companies are providing adequate protective gear and access to paid sick leave for heroes on the frontline, including those working in hospitals and essential services to keep America running. Are you paying a fair wage? • Recognition of essential workers that Americans previously took for granted has raised new questions about fair pay and amplified calls for hazard pay. “Grocery stores haven’t been paying their employees enough. They’ve been keeping everyone’s families alive. All in all, it’s about short-term profits and human life is somewhere way, way down the list of priorities.” Are you giving health coverage to those you furloughed? • People accept the need to furlough workers as business comes to a halt but call on companies to continue to provide health benefits. Rank the risk of infection among essential workers as the national challenge they are worried about most65%
  • 8. APRIL 2020 8 AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS How companies and leaders can step up and stand out: Using distinctive capabilities to fight the virus: ü Retooling supply chains to make ventilators, sanitizer, and masks ü Developing new tools to track and trace infections ü CEOs taking pay cuts, using their salary to cover wages, or donating to medical and health causes. ü Supporting the race to find a treatment and vaccine ü Physically (mail and delivery, curbside pickup) ü And virtually (digital tools for delivery and human connection) Keeping America connected: Making personal sacrifices:
  • 9. But fear of getting sick continues to drive deep anxiety. APRIL 2020 9 Americans are experiencing the economic fallout firsthand. AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS • Reflecting on their own lives and friends and family: • When asked about how their lives have changed, most focus on work, including the stress of reduced hours, layoffs or remote work. • Uncertainty about the future is pervasive. Those who still work wonder if it will last. • Despite widespread economic hardship and anxieties, most Americans continue to prioritize protecting lives over protecting the economy. • People frequently discuss concerns about the health and safety of friends and family who are higher risk. “My business is down 85%. Hardly any work. Wondering if my business will be viable in the near future.” “I worry that someone I love will get sick and die. I have a lot of family members with health issues that put them at higher risk.” 78% have been impacted professionally / economically or know someone who was impacted 38% have been sick or know somebody who was sick “I don't think we can throw all the old and sick people under the bus so we can make money. Saving lives has to come first.”
  • 10. APRIL 2020 10 AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS • Nearly half (48%) say they will continue to social distance and shelter in place for as long as it takes. • Consensus that we have months, not weeks, before we can safely reopen. 15% 45% 36% Just the beginning / many more months ahead Near the middle / a few months left Near the end / over in a few weeks “It is not worth the risk to open the country this soon, especially after they say its going to get worse and this is just the beginning.” Americans anticipate a long road ahead. But they are willing to stay the course. 5% 12% 26% 6% 48% Less than one more month / cannot do it any longer 1 more month 2-4 more months 5-6 more months As long as it takes
  • 11. APRIL 2020 11 Democrats and Republicans differ in their outlook for the future. AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS 2% 10% 27% 4% 55% 9% 20% 28% 7% 34% Less than another month / cannot do it any longer 1 more month 2-4 more months 5-6 more months As long as it takes D R 26% 40% 30% 8% 45% 43%Just the beginning / many more months ahead Near the middle / a few months left Near the end / Over in a few weeks Democrats Republicans • Democrats are more cautious than Republicans when they estimate how much time we have left social distancing and staying at home. • More than half of Democrats say they will stay home as long as it takes, compared to one-third of Republicans.
  • 12. APRIL 2020 12 But both parties fear a second wave that does even more damage. • Nearly everyone (93% all voters, 95% Democrats, 90% Republicans) thinks a second wave will happen, especially if we open too soon. AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS 54% very likely 39% somewhat likely 93% likely to experience a second wave “If the country opens too soon, we will have to deal with this virus from the beginning. It will repeat and take longer the second time around.” “The risk of rebound infection is too great, and we will end up as bad or worse than when this began.” “History shows us that the second wave is worse. This isn't a freedom issue. You don't have the freedom to do whatever you want if it impacts others negatively. It's just postponing progress.” 2% not sure 2% not likely at all3% not that likely
  • 13. APRIL 2020 13 Given anxieties about a second wave, Americans place a high bar on what it takes to reopen safely. AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS • Both Democrats and Republicans rank access to a vaccine, diagnostic testing, and a decrease in new infections as the three most important preconditions to open the country safely. • However, Democratic support is stronger than Republican support for measures that require shoring up the health care system, including developing and administering a vaccine and making diagnostic testing widely available. 58% 51% 43% 39% 36% 44% Vacccine becomes widely available Diagnostic testing becomes widely available Public health data shows a decrease in new infections D R “I am very leery about reopening, ideally we will have a vaccine or a decent treatment.” “We need the ability to go to a hospital with proper equipment and access to testing.” “The curve definitely needs to be flattened. The government needs to make a statement that cases around the country have gone down significantly.”
  • 14. All Voters D R Top tier issues Impact on mental health 62% 71% 51% Restarting K-12 education 59% 61% 56% Budget crises at state and local level 56% 61% 46% High unemployment among Millennials 54% 58% 44% Addressing the federal budget 52% 47% 60% Widening economic inequality 45% 57% 25% Calls for higher wages and paid sick leave for hourly workers 43% 53% 25% Tying health insurance to employment 38% 45% 22% Treating internet access as an essential utility 36% 42% 27% Deepening racial inequality 30% 47% 6% Shared concerns about the social impact of the pandemic, but businesses will need speak to different priorities when it comes to the economic impact. APRIL 2020 14 AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS • Majority of both parties focus on social issues, including mental health and education. • Republicans focus on the federal budget over state and local budgets – a contrast to Democrats. Democrats are also more likely to focus on the economic impact on Millennials. • Democrats are more likely to worry about rising inequality and access to essential benefits and utilities.
  • 15. Getting Back APRIL 2020AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS APRIL 2020
  • 16. APRIL 2020 16 Participants reacted to three different approaches to reopening: AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS *Antibody testing/staggered return One scenario for returning to normal life would require states to begin testing large portions of their population to identify who is currently sick, who has already had the virus and developed antibodies that protect them from getting the virus again, and who is still at risk for infection. With this information, it would be possible to allow certain people to return to more normal life if they are not at risk of getting the infection themselves or at risk of spreading it to other people. States would be able to stagger the return to business as usual, meaning that some people would have the opportunity and freedom to leave their homes and return to work, while others would have to stay at home and continue isolation. Track and trace (moderate) Another scenario that could help the country return to normal life involves using technology and data collected through individuals’ cell phones to track new cases of the coronavirus and trace potential new infections. For example, an app could alert you if you come into contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus. The app would use your phone’s Bluetooth signals to determine if you’ve been close to anyone who has tested positive for a long enough period of time to be at risk of infection. If you are at risk, the app would push a notification to your phone, notifying you about your possible exposure and encouraging you to quarantine for two weeks to avoid triggering another outbreak of the virus. Track and trace (aggressive) Some countries currently have even more aggressive test-and-trace systems in place that allow government security agencies to directly access location data from people’s cell phones and share it with health officials. Data from all citizens is monitored, rather than allowing people to opt-in or opt-out of sharing their personal information with the government. In addition to texting people who may have been exposed to the virus, some governments are also collecting location data to monitor whether people are staying home and complying with quarantine rules. People who break self-quarantine order can face prison time or thousands of dollars in fines. 1 2 3 * Tested before WHO statement that there is no evidence of COVID-19 immunity from antibodies.
  • 17. APRIL 2020 17 Strong support for antibody testing and a staggered return. AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS But people are quick to question feasibility and effectiveness, including: • Two-in-three support antibody testing to determine who can return to society versus who is still vulnerable and must continue to stay home. • People are drawn to this approach because it is: ü Comprehensive; ü Evidence-based; and ü Allows for a gradual reopening. “It seems comprehensive and allows for a gradual return without anyone endangering themselves without knowing their personal risk.” ü Do we have capacity for widespread testing? ü How will the logistics be managed? ü Are antibody tests accurate? ü Do we know enough about immunity? ü Would this be based on an honor system? ü How can this be implemented fairly if some have freedom and others must stay home? “I think it’s good, but we also don’t seem to know enough yet about the antibody responses, how accurate the testing is, or if those who have had it can still spread it.”
  • 18. APRIL 2020 18 Tracking and tracing programs will have to overcome mistrust towards institutions and concerns about data sharing that predate the pandemic. AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS 18% 27% 65% 71% 58% 21% Bad idea Good idea Antibody testing/ staggered return Moderate track and trace Aggressive track and trace ✕ Infringement on American values / civil liberties 60% ✕ Slippery slope / companies could use data for profit 52% ✕ Government surveillance, like the Patriot Act 49% ✕ Data could be used to profile, target, and discriminate 43% ✕ Not feasible in a country as large as the United States. 39% ✕ Would make millions of Americans susceptible to a hack. 31% ✕ Would collect information about children and youth. 20% • Among both Democrats and Republicans, potential scenarios to reopen society receive less support the more they rely on collecting and sharing personal data. • Top concerns point to deep unease towards sharing personal information with big business and government.
  • 19. APRIL 2020 19 Conversations around track and trace programs quickly lead to anxieties about infringing American values and potential for discrimination. Even a moderate version triggers fears of Big Brother Fears about targeting people who are sick and denying coverage AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS • “No thanks, George Orwell. Big brother isn't welcome on my phone any more than it already is.” • “Who watches the watchmen?” • “I cannot believe anyone with a working mind would think it is a good idea to let the government track their every move?” • “This is a violation of the 4th amendment and HIPPA. Additionally, individuals would use this data to target and attack those who are sick or make them pariahs.” • “My information would need to remain strictly private and not become a part of some insurance company's database to be used against me later.” Feels un-American to many • “It sounds like something a dictatorship would do.” • “I could not hate it more, and I don't care what "other countries" do. They do not have our freedoms or our constitution…Go move there if you want this kind of control.”
  • 20. APRIL 2020 20 AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS “No safeguards would make me feel comfortable with this. Someone could hack it and the company could use it. No one reads those huge privacy statements.” “With the hacking of so many sites and the stealing of information, no amount of "safeguards" would make me feel good about this at all.” • Longstanding fears about data breaches make Americans anxious about data being stolen, even with safeguards in place. 14% 17% 18% 27% 30% 39% 53% Not allowed to collect data from minors A government agency would oversee the process Not able to link to demographic information The data would have a shelf life / only accessible for a few months Only allowed to use the data for coronavirus- related efforts Only collect data from Americans who opt into the program The data would be anonymized / could not be linked back to individuals Fears about data security are more top of mind than data privacy. Americans prioritize safeguards that focus on aggregate data and establish clear boundaries.
  • 21. APRIL 2020 21 AN IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN VOTERS • Most effective argument in favor of track and trace highlights how it will mitigate the risk of a second outbreak that overwhelms hospitals. • Comparisons to the Patriot Act and 9/11 fail to land. Americans are more likely to remember this as a breach of civil liberties than an effective way to save lives. 40% 40% 42% 45% 54% 58% 56% 54% 51% 42% Share personal information to save lives, like the Patriot Act after 9/11 Avoid a recession or depression Get back to work faster Works in other countries Limit future outbreaks Not ConvincingConvincing • Americans are most likely to feel comfortable sharing their information if trusted organizations in science and health are involved, like the CDC, hospitals and health care systems. “The only place I would trust with this information is a hospital because the doctors and nurses are bound by health privacy laws.” “I don't trust anybody with that kind of information but if I had to choose one entity, it would be my doctor, not the government.” Important to speak to cost of inaction. Partnering with science and health experts will also be key.
  • 22. 1025 F Street NW, 9th Floor Washington, DC 20004 202.337.0808 | GPG.COM3 Columbus Circle, Floor 18 New York, NY 10019 Email research@gpg.com for more insights specific to your organization, company, or industry, or how our Caucus platform can provide a read on Americans’ attitudes.