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Over eight in ten (82%) Americans believe the expiration of the $600 unemployment bonus will have an adverse effect on the U.S. economy. More from the #COVID tracker here: https://theharrispoll.com/the-harris-poll-covid19-tracker/
60% of Americans do not think black women have received the credit they deserve for their role in the racial equality movement and more than 2 in 5 Americans say they never/rarely hear about the achievements of black women in the movement. Read more here: https://theharrispoll.com/the-harris-poll-covid19-tracker/
When it comes to COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, more news is good news. That’s the latest takeaway from consumer sentiment tracking by The Harris Poll. Pharma companies currently in the news reaped hefty reputation boosts, according to early August data.
Gilead, Pfizer and Moderna specifically are trending positively with consumers who have seen the news about their respective treatments and vaccines, the poll taken between July 30 and Aug. 3 found.
Pfizer was the big winner: Among people who heard about its recent deal with the U.S. government for vaccine doses, 52% said they'd developed a more favorable view of the company. For Moderna, in the wake of its recent move to phase 3 vaccine trials, 51% of those who knew the latest had a more positive view of the company. In Gilead Sciences' case, news about its remdesivir treatment and pricing had 48% of in-the-know poll respondents reporting better impressions of the drugmaker.
“All the trends we’re seeing right now in the industry [show] that any companies getting benefits are based on action, utility and impact,” said Harris Poll Managing Director Rob Jekielek, adding that “what we’re seeing reinforces the point that more information about progress is a good thing.”
Overall, consumer sentiment on the pharma industry remained steady, with 37% of those polled at the end of July saying they had a more positive view of the pharma industry than they did before the pandemic. In Harris Poll’s initial March consumer study, 41% of people said they had a more favorable view of pharma.
Pfizer also tracked in the top spot overall when Harris asked which pharma or healthcare company is making the most positive impact on COVID-19.
Still, the image bump may be temporary if history repeats itself. Back in March, when Johnson & Johnson first announced its vaccine candidate and a $1 billion deal with the U.S. government to produce it, the drugmaker enjoyed a similar spike in positive consumer sentiment. J&J’s reputation hasn’t taken a hit since then, but with a lull in news has come a corresponding lull in consumer enthusiasm.
“Communication about progress is important. Obviously, it will play out best if the treatment or vaccine works out well, but what we’re seeing more right now for the public is that more information and transparency around what’s going on and what kind of progress is being made is better for pharma companies,” Jekielek said.
Read the full article at Fierce Pharma.
Most adult TikTok users in the U.S. don't seem to want President Trump to ban the app, according to new Harris Poll data shared with USA TODAY.
The survey revealed 64% of active TikTok users oppose Trump’s executive order to shut down the ByteDance-owned app within 45 days.
However, 57% of all Americans agree with the President's move to kick the music video app out of the U.S.
The poll was taken by adults over 18, so it doesn't capture sentiments held by teenagers that make up TikTok's primary user base.
The opinion data was conducted on August 8 and 9, just days after Trump threatened to block TikTok and WeChat from operating if they are not sold by their parent companies, which both have roots in China. TikTok responded to the executive order news by threatening legal action. WeChat's parent company said it's reviewing the executive order.
Microsoft has expressed interest in buying TikTok, which would allow it to continue to operate in the U.S. after September 15. A report suggests that Twitter might also be open to a merger with TikTok.
Even if a deal with an American company does take place, most people in the country (62%) think TikTok would still pose a security threat because of its ties to China, the Harris Poll found.
The Trump versus China tech war stems from fears that the country may use apps to spy on Americans. Trump claims the apps “capture vast swaths of information from its users” which could allow "the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information."
By: Ina Fried | Axios
An order from President Trump that would ban TikTok in the U.S. is putting in jeopardy TikTok's plan to hire 10,000 U.S. employees, according to a source familiar with the company's thinking.
Why it matters: When TikTok first rolled out the job pledge, it served as a carrot in the political conflict over the social video service, but it's now being held out as a stick.
Between the lines: The company doesn't expect the move to affect current employees at this point, according to the source. TikTok employs about 1,500 people in the U.S., 1,000 of whom have joined in the past year.
- The new jobs involve a mix of skills and locations across Texas, California, Florida, Tennessee and New York. Many of the jobs in Texas are slated to be sales-related, while Florida and Nashville, Tennessee were targeted as customer service hubs.
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported that TikTok was collecting user data using a technique banned by Google.
- In a statement, TikTok said the current version of its app does not collect MAC address information, but the company did not respond to follow-up questions from Axios as to when and why it stopped collecting such information.
By the numbers: A new Harris Poll survey finds 57% of Americans support Trump’s executive order.
- Nearly two-thirds of active TikTok users oppose the order, however.
- Interestingly, more than 60% of both the overall sample and the active TikTok users said a sale to an American company wouldn't eliminate security concerns given TikTok's ties to China.
Go deeper: Earlier this week, I talked to CNBC about the challenges facing TikTok as it looks to find an American buyer for its U.S. operations.
Read the full story at Axios.
Battered by pandemic and economic collapse, do Americans have the capacity to care about the environment? Not so much, judging by a national poll we just conducted.
We asked a panel of U.S. adults a series of questions about today’s most crucial issues, environmental policy options, and their own behavior. In all three categories, I was personally surprised and discouraged to discover that our devotion to the world around us is flagging.
In a survey we at the Harris Poll conducted last December, American adults said climate change was the number one issue facing society. Today, it comes in second to last on a list of a dozen options, ahead of only overpopulation. Among Gen X men, in fact, more than third dismiss climate change as unimportant. COVID-19 and the recession have, of course, reordered priorities around the world. Still, the coronavirus didn’t elbow aside other issues as muscularly as it did climate change. (Incidentally, global warming is a bigger concern to retirement-age women than any other age group except millennial men.)
Additionally, we asked about policies the government could adopt to fight global warming or help the environment generally. There was majority support for only one of nine initiatives, with 51% endorsing tax credits or rebates for greater energy efficiency in buildings. Moreover, 13% of all respondents say the government should do nothing to improve the environment, a stance that rises to nearly one in five of all survey takers in the South.
More telling is what we are doing—or should I say what we no longer are doing.
We know from this survey, conducted on July 24, that American adults are burning less fuel than they did before the pandemic hit. In pre-COVID-19 America, 77% of adults said they used to drive. Today, with more people working from home, or not working at all, just 61% say they are using their cars to get around. Similarly, only 14% of adults say they are still flying, down from 21% last winter. That’s an environmental plus, since it means we’re pumping less greenhouse gas into the air.
But we are also reverting back to a society that throws too much away. Younger men in particular are ordering more takeout food, packed in single-use plastic bags and disposable boxes, often with those plastic straws scorned for littering the landscape and polluting waterways. We are toting reusable bags less often on errands. Probably because more of us are home, we also are consuming more energy to keep our homes cooler in the summer and warmer in chilly months than we used to.
And when the pandemic ends—or at least is suitably controlled—American adults say they’ll behave in ways that would increase their carbon footprint. According to our survey, we’ll drive as much as we did before, take public transportation less, bicycle or walk less, buy more clothes, and have more stuff packaged up and shipped to our homes. And most of us plan to jack up the home AC and heat even more than we already have.
There are some bright spots for the environmental cause. Americans are shifting their diets away from meat. (Cattle for dairy and beef production is one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gases, accounting for approximately 15% of worldwide emissions.) Two-thirds of us say we currently recycle at home, and even more say we will, though how much of what we put in our blue bins actually gets recycled is another matter. Air travel won’t be coming back to pre-pandemic levels, our survey shows. And we say we’ll pick up our reusable bags again.
One last point: Americans know the consequences of backsliding. We asked the survey’s 1,083 representative respondents whether COVID-19 was good or bad for the environment short term and long term. The multiple choice option chosen the most, at 39%, is that it is helping short term, but causing long-term damage.
Maybe when we’re feeling safer and more prosperous, we’ll care more about the fate of our planet. For now, though, global warming isn’t the rallying cause it was only a few months ago.
Will Johnson is CEO of the Harris Poll, one of the world’s leading public opinion research firms.
Read the full article at Fortune.
Denise Tindall has spent nearly three decades driving children to school. But this fall will be different.
Tindall, 58, was a school bus driver with a private contractor in the Shelby County School District in Memphis, Tennessee, where fall classes are set to begin online. When schools shuttered in April, she filed for unemployment . But she hasn’t received a dime yet, she says.
“I’m barely making it,” says Tindall, whose brother and daughter have been giving her money to cover more than $1,000 in monthly bills including rent, utilities and phone costs. “If it weren't for my family, I’d be homeless.”
Tindall is concerned about her future since she won’t be able to return to work for the foreseeable future.
“I’m too old to find a new career. I’m about to give up,” Tindall says. “I don’t have anything saved for retirement. My bank account is negative for the first time.”
'Insulin or groceries':How reduced unemployment affects struggling Americans from California to Mississippi
The stock market has done an about-face and is back near record highs after a coronavirus-fueled sell-off in March. But millions of Americans are still reeling following a wave of layoffs and financial losses stemming from the pandemic.
Through the end of July, more than 25 million out-of-work Americans could count on receiving a weekly federal $600 emergency income boost. But that expired. Now, about 82% of Americans believe the expiration of the $600 unemployment bonus will have an adverse effect on the U.S. economy, and more than two-thirds think economic growth will be much worse in the months to come, according to a Harris Poll survey conducted July 31 to Aug. 2. The data was given exclusively to USA TODAY.
“It’s clear that the unemployment benefits are a lifeline for Americans and the economy,” says John Gerzema, CEO of The Harris Poll. “If they don't get relief, Americans see this as a tipping point that could spell more trouble for their personal finances.”
The pessimism comes even as the U.S. added 1.8 million jobs in July. Payroll growth slowed amid a split-screen economy that saw employers stepping up hiring in parts of the country that continued to let businesses reopen, even as COVID-19 spikes forced Sunbelt firms to pull back and lay off workers.
The unemployment rate fell to 10.2% from 11.1% in June, the Labor Department said Friday.
In July, permanent job losses were little changed at 2.9 million, a positive sign following four consecutive months of increases. But total U.S. payrolls are still 13 million below the pre-pandemic level.
“Does today’s number imply economic conditions are significantly improved? No," Seema Shah, chief strategist at investment advisory firm Principal Global Investors, said in a note Friday. "It simply suggests the labor market was static in July, showing no signs of renewed weakness that the increase in COVID-19 cases had threatened,”
To be sure, about 1.2 million people in the final week of July filed initial applications for unemployment insurance – a rough measure of layoffs – the Labor Department said Thursday, down substantially from 1.4 million the previous week and the lowest level since March. But the week's total is still historically large.
Trump threatens to take executive action
Angst among unemployed Americans has grown as Republicans and Democrats continue to spar over what would be a fifth round of emergency stimulus funding to help counter the effects of the pandemic. Policymakers are seeking a compromise between Democrats' $3 trillion proposal and a $1 trillion Republican recommendation.
Republicans and Democrats remain far apart on many issues at the heart of the next package, one of the biggest being the $600 boost to unemployment, which Democrats want to extend until at least January. But Republicans argue it's too high and disincentivizes Americans to go back to work.
Republicans offered to cut the benefit to $200. The bonus bolsters state benefits that average about $370 a week nationally.
President Donald Trump has split with some of his GOP allies and softened his opposition to an extension of the $600 boost, threatening to take executive action if a deal isn't reached with Democrats on a new relief package.
“We're negotiating right now … and we'll see how that works out,” Trump said Wednesday during a press conference. “My administration is exploring executive actions to provide protections against eviction. Eviction's a big problem, very unfair to a lot of people … as well as additional relief to those who are unemployed as a result of the virus.”
Job insecurity remains
About 54% of Americans fear they may lose their job due to the coronavirus outbreak, Harris Poll data shows. Overall, nearly half expect their personal finances to be generally worse off in the coming months.
“There are two economies in the pandemic,”Gerzema says. “In general, older, wealthy Americans who are white are typically more confident that they’ll prosper. But the ones really feeling the pain are younger, lower income Americans and minorities.”
There’s been a shift in priorities and personal finances for Americans, who are twice as likely to prefer cleaning and sanitizing their home (50%) than to review personal finances and investments, such as a 401(k) retirement savings account (25%), according to a recent report from Voya Financial, a retirement and insurance plan provider.
The labor-market recovery has reached a critical juncture, economists say, with millions of workers at risk of prolonged unemployment just as the emergency unemployment benefits expire.
“Further labor market progress will require a forceful and immediate policy response across the country to contain the health crisis and avoid looming fiscal cliffs,” Lydia Boussour, senior U.S. economist at Oxford Economics, said in a note.
Read the full article at USA TODAY.