More Americans believe that the recent spike in violent crime is a ”bigger issue” than the COVID-19 pandemic, a new poll finds.
According to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll released Friday, 49% of respondents called violent crime ”a very big problem,” compared with 32% that feel the virus is, according to the survey.
The survey was conducted with a nationally representative sample of 1,588 adults interviewed online between May 24-26 and has a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points, according to Yahoo News.
The number of people saying the COVID-19 virus was a big problem dropped by almost half from 61 percent last July, while the number that felt crime was a big problem increased 10 percentage points, from 39 to 49 percent, during the same period.
Race relations, the economy and political correctness were also high on the list with 41%, 39% and another 39%, respectively.
While many states are getting back to a semblance of normality as COVID-19 vaccinations increase, crime rates are still at levels well above 2020, according to a report on the virus and crime published in March.
The report by the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice found the number of homicides in the nation rose in the first quarter of the year by 24% compared with 2020, and 49% compared with the first quarter of 2019.
Increases were also seen in assaults and gun assaults during the period, according to the report.
On the other hand, the rates for new virus cases, hospitalizations and deaths are all down as more Americans are vaccinated, the Yahoo News story said.
Much of the violence can be traced back to the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police last year, according to published reports.
Earlier this year, a Minneapolis jury convicted former police officer Derek Chauvin of killing Floyd after kneeling on his neck for more than eight minutes on a city street corner on May 25, 2020.
The death sparked riots throughout the country last summer, killing more than 30 people and doing billions of dollars’ worth of property damage.
Political activist groups like Black Lives Matter led many of the protests and called for defunding police agencies in the cities, which caused many police officers to leave the job last year.
”Violent crime is significantly higher, and murders … are through the roof,” South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, the GOP’s lead police-reform negotiator, said Thursday. ”You cannot demonize officers, take away their resources and expect them to do the job that needs to be done.”
Scott and others in Congress said this week that they want to get a bill ready for the floor and passed by the end of June.
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