SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A large majority of Americans disagree with President Donald Trump’s assertions that the economic cost of stopping the coronavirus spread may be worse than the disease, and that the U.S. should open for business by Easter Sunday.

A SurveyUSA poll of 1,000 Americans nationwide asked about a number of aspects of the government’s response to the pandemic. Most of the respondents, 64 percent, said they were familiar with the expression, “flatten the curve,” referring to the effort to keep patients from quickly overwhelming the local health authorities’ ability to treat them.

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Of those familiar, most say it is more important to flatten the curve than other considerations:

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  • 79% compared to 16% who say it is more important to put Americans back to work.
  • 73% compared to 23% who say their personal freedom is more important.
  • 65% compared to 29% who say it is more important to help the US economy.
  • 60% compared to 35% who say it is more important to pay the rent.

In addition, the poll showed Americans believe by a 5:4 margin that President Trump is more concerned about getting re-elected and helping the stock market than keeping Americans safe.

The poll also showed the percentage of Americans who say Trump is concerned with keeping people safe has grown slowly over the last two weeks from 34 percent to 40 percent.

As far Americans’ reaction to competing narratives about the pandemic, 49 percent of Americans say it is better to listen to President Trump while 35 percent say it is better to ignore the president, according to the poll.

The poll has a margin of error of 3.6 points and was conducted March 24-25 during a time when virus cases in the U.S. were doubling every three days. As of Thursday afternoon, the U.S. has more than 76,000 coronavirus cases and more than 1,000 deaths. Worldwide cases total more than 500,000 with more than 23,000 deaths.

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