- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Almost three-fourths of Americans say the coronavirus has hurt their wallets, according to a nationwide poll released Tuesday that shows the pandemic’s impact deepening and cutting across all income levels.

The poll of 1,005 Americans, conducted March 24-29 by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and the Financial Times, showed roughly the same impact on the upper middle class as the lower rungs of the economy. Of those who make more than $100,000 a year, 71% said the shutdown of businesses across the country has hurt their incomes, while the share for those making $50,000 a year or less was 74%.

Of the nearly three-quarters of respondents who have felt an economic blow, 24% of them described it as “very significant,” the poll showed.

Almost half polled — 48% — said they would have no income at all if they were to lose their employment as a result of the emergency and its response.

The data reflects a dramatic rise from previous monthly polls. In February, for instance, only 13% of those polled said the coronavirus had had a negative financial impact on them since it spread from Wuhan, China, this year.

The widespread bad news comes at a time when 10% of those polled said they knew someone who had contracted the coronavirus, which had infected 378,000 Americans and killed almost 12,000 as of Tuesday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker.

Despite these grim numbers, two-thirds of survey respondents said they consider the health repercussions of the coronavirus a bigger issue than the economic impact. On the other hand, more people see the worldwide economic slowdown as the biggest threat to the U.S. economy, replacing the cost of healthcare, which had been number one in earlier surveys.

• James Varney can be reached at jvarney@washingtontimes.com.

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