COVID States Project

The COVID States Project is a nationwide, 50-state survey of opinions related to the COVID-19 pandemic that has been in the field regularly since March of 2020. It is run by a multi-university collaboration including Harvard Kennedy School, Northeastern University, Rutgers University, Harvard Medical School, and Northwestern University.

The team includes researchers from across the country with expertise in computational social science, network science, public opinion polling, epidemiology, public health, communication, and political science. Their research aims to identify links between social behaviors and virus transmission, as well as the impact of messaging and regulation on individual and community outcomes during this crisis. The project is sharing its nearly real-time data and insights directly with collaborators and decision-makers, as well as making its findings public online, with the goal of helping practitioners and governments make informed decisions and allocate resources more effectively during the pandemic.


The Kennedy School’s Marvin Kalb Professor of Global Communications Matthew Baum, whose research work is based at the Shorenstein Center, is one of the lead researchers on the project. Other Shorenstein Center affiliates who work on the project include:

  • Jon Green, Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Kristin Lunz Trujillo, Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Alauna Safarpour, Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Anjuli Shere, Doctoral Student Researcher

The full project team, including faculty and researchers at the other collaborating universities, is listed at

Selected Publications

A list of regular polling reports from the project can be found here.

Journal articles based on data from the project, include:

Association of major depressive symptoms with endorsement of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation

Perlis, R., Ognyanova, K., Santillana, M., Lin, J., Druckman, J., Lazer, D., Green, J., Simonson, M., Baum, M., & Della Volpe, J. (2022). Association of major depressive symptoms with endorsement of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation among US adults. JAMA Network Open, 5(1), 1–12.

Using General Messages to Persuade on a Politicized Scientific Issue

Green, J., Ognyanova, K., Druckman, J., Baum, M., Lazer, D., Simonson, M. D., Lin, J., Santillana, M., & Perlis, R. H. (2022). Using General Messages to Persuade on a Politicized Scientific Issue. Conditionally accepted in British Journal of Political Science.

The Role of Race, Religion, and Partisanship in Misperceptions about COVID-19

Druckman, J. N., Ognyanova, K., Baum, M. A., Lazer, D., Perlis, R. H., Volpe, J. D., Santillana, M., Chwe, H., Quintana, A., & Simonson, M. (2021). The role of race, religion, and partisanship in misperceptions about COVID-19. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 24(4), 638–657.

To see all publications from the project visit


The project is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the Knight Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. Data collection was supported in part by Amazon.

To learn more about the COVID States project visit