politics COVID

Power To the People


Have you ever wished that you were the one making the rules? How about the rules governing how to get through a global pandemic? Yeah, didn’t think so.


We asked a representative sample of Americans what they would do if they were in Congress voting on a comprehensive coronavirus response bill. Since politics is (supposed to be) all about compromising around trade-offs, what better way to simulate the priorities of the general public than through a conjoint experiment?



The most important component of the bill would address distributing financial benefits. To whom you ask? Everyone! Literally everyone regardless of employment status or income — except if you’re a large business, which is not deserving of government loans nor cash handouts. 


The healthcare and restaurant industries — along with state governments — would get a bailout, but that’s where the appetite for industry-wide bailouts ends. The oil industry is in Deepwater (Horizon) territory again but has plenty of idle pumps to bail itself out, just no government-issued life rafts this time.



Re-opening the economy will not be a shotgun start. Regular people-turned-Congresspeople mandate a phased, regional opening based on the number of cases and reserve the option to tighten up again if case numbers increase.


Stay-at-home orders will stay. And social distancing will remain anti-social. However, a government dictum to show evidence of a negative diagnosis to enter a public place receives a resounding “nay”.


Of course we can’t claim victory until a cure is found, but Americans are more comfortable waiting for a full vaccine trial rather than an accelerated one that may not identify potential negative side effects.

How would you decide?


Want to see the data? Curious about the methodology? Email us at team@gradientmetrics.com