In The Harris Poll Tracker (Week 106) fielded March 4th to 6th, 2022 among 2,023 U.S. adults, we look at how healthcare shortages are leaving Americans with canceled appointments and delayed surgeries, how investors don’t fear the volatility of cryptocurrency in their trading, that Americans fear the metaverse will have them lose touch with reality, the status of fertility benefits for employees, and an industry snapshot covering the automotive and transportation sectors. 

Tune in for our America This Week: From The Harris Poll audio event this Friday at 10am EST on LinkedIn for a data driven discussion between our CEO John Gerzema and CSO Libby Rodney. They’ll be covering the latest trends in society, the economy, and the consumer marketplace. 

As a public service, our team has curated key insights to help leaders navigate COVID-19. Full survey results, tables, and weekly summaries can be accessed for free at The Harris Poll COVID-19 Portal. We will continue to actively field on a regular cadence to track the shifts in sentiment and behaviors as the news and guidelines evolve.

The Health Worker Shortage Is Starting to Get Real for Americans: The CVS Health-Harris Poll National Health Project

More than half of Americans (51%) say they’ve directly felt the effects of healthcare worker shortages, from canceled appointments to delayed surgeries, according to “The CVS Health-Harris Poll National Health Project” and covered in Axios.

  • Of those impacted by shortages, (45%) said they had trouble scheduling appointments, more than 1 in 3 said their doctor was operating on reduced hours, a quarter had treatments or surgeries delayed, 1 in 5 said their doctor had stopped practicing, and (13%) said their health care facilities were closing completely.
  • This comes as more than (40%) said they are reconnecting with the health system and reassessing their care after pandemic lockdowns and restrictions.
  • For instance, (47%) said they were trying to stay more physically active, (43%) said they were prioritizing their health habits and goals more than before the pandemic, and (35%) said they were buying more products to protect their health.
  • This was particularly true for BIPOC Americans. A third of Black Americans (33%) and a quarter of Hispanic Americans (24%) said they were visiting the doctor more – but more than half in both racial groups said they are stressed about accessing quality healthcare versus (43%) of the general population.

Takeaway: It’s “not only a problem that’s been sort of hidden, but it’s also causing significant sources of pain and frustration with people who really need these services,” says John Gerzema, CEO of The Harris Poll. “This isn’t your typical consumer good. This is people’s health.”

Survey Says, Crypto Attitudes Are Changing: Protocol-Harris Poll

The adoption of digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ether has grown astronomically, but many consumers are still wary about crypto according to our latest survey in partnership with Protocol

  • Of the (28%) of people who currently trade crypto, an overwhelming (93%) said they would trade or buy more this year, and (94%) said they would do more next year.
  • Crypto isn’t blue skies for everyone: about (74%) of people who said they were aware of cryptocurrencies view it as a risky investment.
  • What’s surprising is that the percentage is even higher for those who currently and previously trade crypto, which means that crypto traders are doing it despite – or because of – its volatility.
  • A word of warning: Crypto users seem to value security over decentralization as the most-used crypto exchanges are, Coinbase and Robinhood – all centralized exchanges where crypto is held in a hosted wallet or online account.

Takeaway: Brent Johnson, CISO at Bluefin Payment Systems, told Protocol that this “demonstrates consumers are becoming more comfortable with concepts such as converting crypto to fiat and receiving crypto rewards.”

Most Consumers Worry the Metaverse May Lead Them to Lose Touch with Reality: AdAge-Harris Poll

Over half of Americans fear that the metaverse will lead them to neglect reality, and therefore prefer activitations that include real-world components, such as AR/VR, according to our last survey with AdAge

  • Most (86%) Americans are familiar with cryptocurrency, the metaverse (65%), and NFTs (61%), but only (10%) with Web3 – a new iteration of the internet based on blockchain. 
  • More than half (52%) of those ages 18 to 54 familiar with the metaverse fear that the space and its technologies will lead to the neglect of their physical surroundings
  • This cohort particularly fears that they could lose pre-existing relationships and the ability to form new ones
  • Most (80%) of these consumers are interested in AR/VR tech – a sizable advantage over interest in NFTs (57%) and cryptocurrency (51%). 
  • Over half of these respondents cited interest in using AR/VR for physical shopping, as compared to shopping for virtual wearables that can be worn in metaverse platforms. 

Takeaway: Tech companies will need to be aware of what consumers are really interested in regarding the metaverse as interest in technologies that bridge the digital and physical realm far outweighs that in more abstract, digital-only formats, such as NFTs and cryptocurrency.

Fertility Benefits Have Become a Major Weapon in the War for Talent: Fortune-Harris Poll

During the ongoing war for talent, more and more companies are beefing up their employee benefits programs in an effort to attract the best workers. And fertility benefits are quickly gaining ground as a must-have according to our latest survey in partnership with Fortune.

  • Nearly half of workers (45%) say fertility benefits are an important component when considering a new job. 
  • Among those looking for fertility benefits, workers say coverage for adoption, fertility medications, and IVF treatments are the most important offerings.
  • Yet, only (6%) of workers surveyed reported having access to some type of fertility benefit – and the benefits vary greatly among employers:


Takeaway: In the midst of The Great Resignation, employers should consider expanding rare benefits like fertility coverage to retain and attract talent, along with other forms of family building such as paid parental leave after a birth or adoption.

Automotive and Transportation: An Industry Snapshot

Our recent report on the state of the automotive industry explores consumer sentiment towards electric vehicle production and autonomous vehicles as well as evaluating automotive and transportation brands, ranking the leaders by brand equity and growth. Here’s what we found:

  • Of Americans planning to purchase a vehicle in the next year, 69% are concerned about the environmental impact of manufacturing EVs.
  • Most consumers (78%) think car makers should take steps to limit the environmental impact of EV production.
  • More than half (67%) of adults planning to purchase a vehicle think autonomous vehicles will be safer than traditional vehicles in the next 10 years.
  • While nearly half (47%) of men feel safe sharing the road with self-driving cars, only just over one-third (36%) of women agree.
  • UPS topped the list of transportation brands, with a brand equity score of 67.9%
  • Shipt saw the greatest growth in brand equity with 1.9% growth from Q3 to Q4, 2021

Takeaway: As the transportation industry incorporates new technologies, manufacturers must remain aware of evolving consumer sentiment to address concerns and develop effective messaging.

Download the Data

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll from March 4 to 6, among a nationally representative sample of 2,023 U.S. adults.

John Gerzema headshot

John Gerzema


Download the Data

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll from March 4 to 6, among a nationally representative sample of 2,023 U.S. adults.


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