Fox News Poll: Voters say US failed to take coronavirus threat seriously enough

Sixty-one percent plan to get the vaccine

As the first U.S. coronavirus inoculations take place, a majority thinks the country failed to take the virus seriously enough -- and fewer than one in five says the virus is under control.  In addition, the number planning to get vaccinated is up to 61 percent. 

That’s according to the latest Fox News survey of registered voters nationwide.

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Fifty-six percent feel that the U.S. did not take the threat posed by coronavirus seriously enough.  That includes 34 percent of Republicans and 72 percent of Democrats.

Twenty-three percent say the country reacted appropriately, while almost as many there was an overreaction.  Nearly half of those who say the country overreacted call the virus a hoax -- 8 percent of voters overall. 

Most, 85 percent, are concerned about the virus spreading.  That number has held fairly steady since May, but is down from a high of 94 percent concern in April. 

Half of voters, 50 percent, say coronavirus is “not at all” under control, up 17 points from 33 percent who felt that way six months ago (June 2020).  Another 29 percent say it is just somewhat contained.  Only 18 percent think it is under control (8 percent completely and 10 percent mostly). 

Far more favor how Dr. Anthony Fauci responded to the pandemic than President Donald Trump.  By a 50-point margin, voters approve of Fauci (73 percent approve vs. 23 percent disapprove).  By an 11-point margin, they disapprove of Trump (44-55 percent).  Ratings for President-elect Joe Biden are in positive territory by 25 points (60-35 percent). 

Fully 92 percent of Democrats approve of how Biden responded to the virus while 78 percent of Republicans approve of Trump’s performance.

The vaccine

A 61 percent majority plans to get vaccinated against COVID-19, up from 54 percent in September.  The increase toward inoculation comes mostly from women (+11), those ages 65 and over (+14), and Black voters (+25). 

More men (66 percent) than women (57 percent), more Whites (63 percent) than Blacks (52 percent), and more seniors (74 percent) than those under age 35 (49 percent) plan to get the shot. 

Democrats (75 percent) are much more likely than Republicans (49 percent) to report they will get vaccinated.  In addition, the number of Democrats planning to do so is up significantly since September (+16 points), while the number of Republicans held steady (-1 point). 

Among the roughly 3 in 10 voters (28 percent) who do not plan to be vaccinated, the top reasons include that its development was rushed (23 percent), a lack of trust it will work (21 percent), opposition to vaccines generally (13 percent), distrust of the government (10 percent), and concern about side effects (9 percent).

Pollpourri

Masks are popular.  Eighty-five percent have a positive view of people who wear face masks, up from 80 percent in June.  That shift is mostly driven by an 11-point increase among Republicans:  79 percent have a favorable opinion of mask wearers, up from 68 percent six months ago.  Favorable views among Democrats ticked up by 4 points (93 percent vs. 89 percent).   

Views are mixed on the $900 billion dollar coronavirus relief package being considered by Congress.  Twice as many think that is too little (35 percent) as say too much (19 percent).  One-third (33 percent) thinks the amount is “about right.” 

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Overall, a 63 percent majority disapproves of the job Congress is doing.  Twenty-seven percent approve, down from the 2020 high of 35 percent in April. 

Conducted December 6-9, 2020 under the joint direction of Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Company (R), this Fox News Poll includes interviews with 1,007 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide who spoke with live interviewers on both landlines and cellphones.  The total sample has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points. 

Fox News’ Victoria Balara contributed to this report.

 

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