New poll shows COVID-19 had major impact on most Philadelphians

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — More than half of Philadelphians know someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and nearly a quarter of the city’s residents know someone who died from the virus, according to the findings in a new poll from the Pew Trusts Philadelphia research project.

The poll sought to measure the pandemic’s impact on Philadelphians and found it was extensive, with 90% of city residents saying it’s had an impact.

Two-thirds described it as a major impact, and almost half have faced financial challenges from falling behind on bills to having trouble paying for food or medicine.

Senior adviser Larry Eichel said it confirms what other studies have shown.

“A lot of the impacts have been felt more heavily by Black Philadelphians and Hispanic Philadelphians than by non-Hispanic whites,” Eichel said.

The poll also explored police-community relations.

To get a read on opinions about “defunding the police” — a phrase open to interpretation — it asked whether the police force should be reduced.

“One thing that was very striking, only 14% of Philadelphians want a smaller police force; only 6% of Blacks want a smaller police force,” he said.

The mayor’s policy director Maari Porter said the poll affirms the city’s efforts to support residents with food and housing assistance.

“There’s nothing that we think immediately we need to do differently. We just need to do more of,” Porter said.

The poll finds most Philadelphians approve of the mayor’s, and the governor’s, handling of the pandemic.

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