Gloomy: Most Americans don't believe the worst of the pandemic is behind us, poll finds

COVID-19 pessimism is spiking as (breakthrough) case numbers rise
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Illustration of coronaviruses
Illustration of coronaviruses
(KATERYNA KON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty)

Americans' view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is growing evermore pessimistic, with only 29% believing that the worst is behind us, according to a new poll from Scott Rasmussen. 

According to Rasmussen, that figure is just one percentage point above the lowest measured level since COVID vaccines became available.

Forty percent of those polled said they believe the worst of the pandemic is yet to come, a figure that includes 11% who say the pandemic will never end, and another 11% who say it will last for several more years.

On the whole, Americans are trending toward frustration with the pandemic, but moreover with the government's response. 

Despite rising case numbers, 49% of Americans believe relaxing COVID-19 restrictions would benefit the economy; just 30% believe the opposite.

Furthermore, institutional trust has plummeted over the course of the pandemic, especially for supposedly non-partisan government institutions, like the National Institutes for Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At this point, 48% of those asked say they believe scientists would likely "falsify data to support their personal views."

It is unclear if rising COVID-19 case numbers and the Democrats' inability to pass the Build Back Better Act in the Senate will negatively impact the president's approval rate, which has dipped to 42%.