Poll: Most Americans ‘Not Concerned’ About Coronavirus Variants

Most Americans are “not concerned” about variants of the coronavirus, well over three years after the start of the pandemic, a recent CBS News poll found.

The survey asked respondents to reveal their concern about new variants of the virus and found most, 52 percent, revealing that they are “not concerned.” That reflects a flip flop from the results in 2021 with the omicron variant of the virus. At the time, 58 percent of individuals expressed concern.

The survey also asked respondents to reveal their concern about contracting the virus. That concern reached an all-time high of 77 percent in April 2020, as most expressed concern about a family member or self contracting the virus. That figure has slowly declined, going to 68 percent in March 2021, 55 percent in March 2022, and 45 percent in September 2023.

More per CBS News:

As has long been the case with the coronavirus, concern, attention and action are all connected: 40% report following news about the new variants at least somewhat closely, and those most concerned are following the news more.

Further, less than half of all Americans, 43 percent, said they plan to get the next coronavirus vaccine booster, and that percentage is even less among independents and Republicans — 37 percent and 21 percent, respectively. Nearly three-quarters of Democrats, 73 percent, said they plan to get the booster.

Notably, the vaccines do not prevent one from contracting the virus nor transmitting it, despite misinformation touted by President Biden in 2021.

The survey was taken September 5-8, among 2,335 U.S. adult residents. It has a +/- 2.7 percent margin of error.

It comes as some entities express a willingness to bring back mandates or restrictions, such as masks. A Maryland elementary school, for instance, forced some students to mask up for ten days, and Biden began wearing masks indoors yet again after his twice vaccinated and boosted wife, Jill Biden, contracted the virus for the second time.

Those precautions come despite the fact that studies show masks to be ineffective in preventing one from contracting the virus or spreading it — a fact Dr. Anthony Fauci admitted in a private 2020 email.

“The typical mask you buy in the drug store is not really effective in keeping out virus, which is small enough to pass through the material,” he wrote.

He has since admitted that universal masking for the “broad population” did not work but still contends it has an advantage for individuals.