For the first time, a majority of Americans say the COVID-19 situation in the country is improving, according to a new Gallup poll released Friday.
The study, conducted between Feb. 14-Feb. 21, found that 60 percent of respondents believe the state of the pandemic is either getting a little or a lot better, with 26 percent saying it was staying the same and 14 percent believing the situation was actually getting worse.
The findings indicate a trend of perceptions on the pandemic improving as new cases continue to decline nationwide.
When Gallup first asked Americans about the coronavirus situation in April of last year, about 56 percent at the time said it was getting worse, with 29 percent saying it was improving and 15 percent believing it was remaining the same.
Gallup continued to record increased pessimism among Americans as coronavirus cases surged throughout 2020, with approximately four in 10 Americans saying the situation was improving in June, while the majority of Americans, 65 percent, for the first time by the end of that month said the situation was worsening.
While Americans’ perceptions improved as coronavirus infection rates declined in September, more started to see a worsening situation again as cases again climbed in November.
American optimism improved in January as the number of new cases began to fall again, with Gallup last month finding that just 39 percent of Americans said the situation was worsening.
The improved case numbers come as the Food and Drug Administration approved a third coronavirus vaccine for emergency use with Johnson & Johnson’s inoculation.
As of Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recorded that more than 54 million people in the U.S. have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, with about 27.8 million receiving two doses.
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