Polling of 2,000 Australians and Americans commissioned by the United States Studies Centre, La Trobe University and the University of Melbourne finds profound partisan disagreements are both symptom and cause of America’s struggles to respond to the pandemic, with US respondents split on concerns about contracting COVID-19, support for lockdowns and trust in medical experts.

Australians report lower levels of concern about contracting the virus, higher levels of support for lockdowns and trust in medical experts, and almost a complete absence of the partisanship cleaving American public opinion.

Thirty-seven per cent of American respondents were either very or extremely worried they or a family member might contract COVID-19, compared to 26 per cent of Australians. This is understandable, given the much higher incidence of COVID-19 in the United States than in Australia.

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