Issues & Insights
Navy doctor sees COVID patient in intensive care. Credit: Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet. Published under Public Domain (

Pandemic Isn’t Over, But Voters Want COVID ‘Emergency’ To End: I&I/TIPP Poll

With the media saturated once again with forecasts of a coming surge in COVID cases and the flu this winter, it’s perhaps no surprise that Americans overwhelmingly believe the pandemic is still with us. But they also want the government to end its COVID emergency declaration, the latest I&I/TIPP Poll shows.

In a much-discussed interview with CBS News’ 60 Minutes back in September, President Biden made the controversial comment that the pandemic “is over” in the U.S. His remarks set off a lively, and at times angry, debate.

The I&I/TIPP poll asked respondents simply, “Is the COVID pandemic over or not over?” By a slightly more than 2-to-1 margin, those answering the question said it was “not over” (60%) compared to those saying it was “over” (28%). “Not sure” trailed, coming in at 12%.

The I&I/TIPP Poll of 1,351 adults across the country was conducted online from Dec. 7-9. The poll has a margin of error of +/-2.8 percentage points.

While Republicans, at 44%, were far more likely than other political affiliations to say the pandemic is finished, that was still a minority within the GOP, with 47% saying it wasn’t over yet.

Democrats were the most convinced the pandemic wasn’t done. Only 19% of them said they believed COVID’s rampant spread was over while those answering that it was still going totaled 72%.

And, as is often the case, independents split the difference, with 26% agreeing it was over, compared to 58% saying it wasn’t.

At 34%, men were much more likely than women (22%) to say the pandemic was over. And whites (31%) were far more likely to claim it was over than blacks and Hispanics (23%).

Taken as a whole, no major demographic group felt the pandemic is over.

Even so, Americans are definitely chafing under the yoke of the government’s “emergency declaration,” used to justify mass masking policies and economic lockdowns to slow COVID’s spread.

We asked: “To what extent to you agree or disagree with the statement: the federal government should lift its COVID emergency declaration.”

Despite the majorities saying COVID was still a pandemic, a majority believe the federal government should end its emergency declaration to restore the nation to its normal footing.

Among respondents, 53% agreed that the emergency should be ended, versus 35% who disagreed. Further broken down, the data show that 24% agreed “strongly” that the emergency decree should be shut down, versus just 14% who said they “disagree strongly” with such a move.

“Disagree somewhat” (22%) compared to a roughly comparable response of “agreed somewhat” at 29%.

In short, not only do more people want the policy to end, but those who do seem to feel much more strongly about it.

Here again, political differences were surprisingly narrow. Among Democrats, 45% agreed the emergency should be ended, versus 46% who felt it shouldn’t. With the 2.8 percentage point margin of error, that’s a tossup.

Meanwhile, 67% of Republicans and 50% of independents wanted the emergency declaration should end, while minorities of just 23% and 33%, respectively, said keep it in place.

Only one major group didn’t want the emergency declaration to end: Those 65 and older, by far the group worst hit by the pandemic. By a slim 42% (agree) to 46% (disagree) margin, they said keep the emergency in place.

All other age groups saw significant majorities wanting the emergency to end: for the 18-24 year group, it was 61%. For those 25-44, it was 55%. And for those 45-54, it came in at 54%. Roughly a third of these three groups wanted the emergency to remain.

In sum, it appears that while a solid majority agree the pandemic’s still with us, they also want the lockdowns, forced masking and other emergency measures to be finished. They want, in short, normalcy.

The big question might be is the expected upsurge in new COVID cases real? Or is it just fear-driven panic, after more than a million deaths attributed to the virus? Was Biden playing up the pandemic’s end just to give Democrats a boost in the midterm elections?

The numbers don’t show it, at least not yet. A look at widely followed Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Center data show that the number of weekly cases peaked at 5.6 million in January of this year.

That number subsequently fell precipitously. For the week ending Dec. 4, 407.3 thousand cases were reported, a decline of 93% from the peak. With the cold and flu season in full swing, there’s been a slight uptick in the number of weekly cases, but no strong trend.

Meanwhile, deaths from the pandemic have likewise trended sharply downward. From a peak of 23.4 thousand weekly deaths in mid-January of 2021, the most recent week shows just 2.3 thousand deaths, a drop of 90%.

With January statistically the worst month for COVID infections and deaths over the last two years, many worry about another upsurge in early 2023. That might explain the hesitation among many in the I&I/TIPP Poll for declaring the pandemic over.

And, as always, there should be a note of caution in interpreting especially the deaths data. The government made a controversial decision in March of 2020 to count not just deaths from COVID, but deaths with COVID — a significant difference.

That led to such anomalies as people who died from gunshot wounds and car accidents being classed as COVID deaths. And co-morbidities — that is, other diseases that could have caused the death of a person with COVID — are common.

A Centers for Disease Control study found early on in the pandemic that 94% of those who died with COVID had at least one major co-morbidity.

And, “average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per (COVID) death,” the report said.

Even so, CDC data show COVID as the third-leading cause of death over the last three years, behind heart disease and cancer, and just ahead of “accidents.” It looms large in Americans’ minds.

At the same time, other recent studies show that 42% of Americans have likely had COVID, though nearly half of those who did say they haven’t.

But an even-larger reason for why, even as Americans say the pandemic continues but want the emergency to end, is that both the government and media have politicized the disease.

Recent studies have raised questions over the efficacy of mRNA “vaccines” and their inherent danger to those who take them, leading to skepticism about vaccines among the public. Notable respected voices in medical research, such as Stanford University’s Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, have claimed that the “emergency declaration” and other policies that stifled debate have harmed science and the American public.

“We needed to have a discussion, an open scientific discussion about the right policies for COVID,” Bhattacharya, a co-author of the pro-science Great Barrington Declaration, said in a lengthy interview. “Imagine how different all the small businesses who stayed open, all the people that wouldn’t have missed their cancer screenings, all the kids that wouldn’t be depressed and suicidal, all the learning loss that could have been avoided if we just had an open scientific discussion.”

The recent revelations about Dr. Anthony Fauci’s familial ties to Twitter as well as ongoing questions over media bias in covering COVID have likely further undermined Americans’ trust in both government and the media.

I&I/TIPP publishes timely, unique and informative data each month on topics of public interest. TIPP reputation for polling excellence comes from being the most accurate pollster for the past five presidential elections.

Terry Jones is an editor of Issues & Insights. His four decades of journalism experience include serving as national issues editor, economics editor, and editorial page editor for Investor’s Business Daily.

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Terry Jones

Terry Jones was part of Investor's Business Daily from its inception in 1983, working in a variety of posts, including reporter, economics correspondent, National Issues editor and economics editor. Most recently, from 1996 to 2019, he served as associate editor of the newspaper and deputy editor and editor of IBD's Issues & Insights. His many media appearances include spots on the Larry Kudlow, Bill O’Reilly, Dennis Miller, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved and Glenn Beck shows. He also served as Free Markets columnist for Townhall Magazine, and as a weekly guest on PJTV’s The Front Page. He holds both bachelor's and master's degrees from UCLA, and is an Abraham Lincoln Fellow at the Claremont Institute


  • The Pennsylvania Supreme Court cited COVID-19 as the reason why they extended the deadline for the counting of mail-in ballots from 8:00 p.m. Tuesday to 5:00 p.m. Friday during the week of the 2020 Presidential election. They furthermore waived the requirement for such ‘mail-in’ ballots to have any postmark in order to be counted. This directly contradicted the law which authorized such ballots, Act 77, which set a Tuesday deadline and demanded that ‘mail-in’ ballots needed a legible postmark dated before that deadline in order to be counted as legitimate. Ballots with no postmarks that somehow arrived on the counting tables on the Friday after the Tuesday election were counted as ‘timely’ and legal. Biden was officially credited with winning the state vote by a 50.01% majority.

    The Democrats have used, and abused, the emergency powers granted to them by the declaration of a COVID-19 emergency to overrule existing election laws and allow dubious practices that violate the laws as they are actually written. That’s why Pennsylvania uses dropboxes for “mail-in” ballots instead of mailboxes for such ballots, despite the requirement in the law for all such ballots to have postmarks. The penalty for voter fraud is up to one year in prison and a $1000 fine per count. The penalty for mail fraud is up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine per count.

    If somebody parrots Hillary Clinton and asks you ‘What difference at this point does it make?’ if a fraudulent ballot had a postmark, then the correct answer is 20 years in federal prison and $250,000 per conviction.

    There is much more on these topics at my substack, specifically these two articles:

  • Ain’t no test
    Ain’t no cure
    Numbers are being manipulated by the those that offered to save you
    Lining up for Gov jabs from obese nurses
    I can’t laugh any harder

  • Read history: Bird Flu, H1N1, Zika, Ebola; all hyped up to sell drugs, newspapers and fear. Enough already.

  • It is over, and there almost as many dying from the vaccine as there are dying from the “disease”!

  • The pandemic was over when Dr. Birx stated, in April 2020 (i believe), that anyone dying with covid would be counted as having died from covid. From that moment, the statistical chicanery was on, and no data could be considered trustworthy. Covid is real and some people die from its effects. That’s true with the flu, too. Bad flu year? Yes. Pandemic warranting heavy-handed government intervention? Meh.

  • What this polling reveals is that folks are in deep need of ethical leadership, a benevolent paternal figure who will make the difficult decisions for them. Covid is a proxy for this need. Think about that for a moment.

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