There’s a stark divide, down political lines, in how Americans see COVID-19, and this partisanship shows up in every aspect of pandemic response. Whether it’s vaccines, masks, or shutdowns, voters’ feelings are largely in line with their political views. Despite this, a significant percentage of Republicans actually approve of President Joe Biden’s response to the pandemic.
A new poll from the Associated Press and NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows Biden’s approval rating for pandemic response at 71%. That includes 47% of Republicans.
That’s not quite half, but considering how sharply divided Republicans and Democrats have been on every aspect of pandemic precautions, it’s an impressive chunk — especially when Five-Thirty-Eight has been showing that approval beginning with less than a quarter of Republicans at the beginning of Biden’s term, and sloping gradually up to around a third.
A Pew Research poll back in March found only 20% of Republicans saying that Biden was doing a good job of handling the pandemic. It’s not clear whether the third round of stimulus checks, which began hitting at the end of March, have had any effect on these responses.
Biden has also not lived up to some of the most extreme fears touted by those on the right — there is no vaccine mandate, vaccine passports haven’t been implemented as a requirement to enter grocery stores or leave home, and kids haven’t been vaccinated behind their parents’ backs — all things that some claimed would be inevitible under a Democratic president.
Instead, testing has progressed, with vaccines now on offer for adults and children aged 16 and over, and according to the NBC, by mid-April, half of the adults in the U.S. had received at least one dose of the vaccine. The administration continues to move toward reopening schools and businesses, while still working to protect the populace.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com