Americans most blame the increase in COVID-19 cases and the spread of new variants on the unvaccinated, people from other countries traveling to the United States and Donald Trump, according to the latest installment from the Axios / Ipsos coronavirus index.
Why is this important: The results reveal a surreal gap between the views of the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, showing how difficult it can be to achieve collective immunity – and providing new evidence that warrants could make a difference.
- Vaccinated Americans overwhelmingly blame the unvaccinated as the central problem along with other ancillary factors.
- The unvaccinated aren’t sure who to blame – and are much more likely to buy into conspiracy theories involving the media or President Biden.
What they say : “It’s purely political,” said Cliff Young, president of Ipsos US Public Affairs. “For the unvaccinated, this only reinforces an already existing false belief system.”
- “If this had happened 30 or 40 years ago, we wouldn’t have the same problem,” but “we are in an extremely polarized world,” Young said.
- “We are dealing with a serious wall of disinformation at this point that obscures the facts” for a “recalcitrant group … The only way to reach them if you want to reach them are tough policies, tough mandates.”
What we are looking at: When asked if they would take the injections if their employer required them, only one in three unvaccinated Americans said yes.
- But it was the highest response among a series of hypothetical incentives that also included getting a raise, bonus, or paid time off, or being required to get vaccinated to attend sporting events. or at concerts or to board a plane or train.
The big picture: Fears of the Delta variant permeated the results of this week’s national survey – from growing shares of parents now ready to vaccinate their children, to companies imposing new mask mandates and extending remote work, to people taking social distances and stay at home.
- Three in 10 employees say their companies have changed policies requiring others to wear masks or extend remote work, a sign of concern in response to the increase in cases.
- Six in ten parents of children under 18 now say they will have their children vaccinated as soon as they are available for their age group, the highest share so far in our survey.
- And a subtle but potentially significant change: The strictest group of unvaccinated Americans – what we’ve called the “hard pass” group – has fallen to 15%, from a share of about one in five between February and early. June.
- This means that although the overall share of unvaccinated people is about three in ten in our survey, a slightly larger share might be persuasive.
In numbers : Respondents were asked which of the multiple options they blamed, and were told they could choose as many as they wanted.
- Overall, most said they blamed the unvaccinated (58%), people from other countries traveling to the United States (32%) and former President Trump (28%). Separating the responses of vaccinated and unvaccinated American adults highlights the results.
- The vaccinated said their top five targets to blame are the unvaccinated (79%), Trump (36%), the conservative media (33%), people from other countries traveling to the United States (30%) and Americans traveling abroad (25%).
- The unvaccinated cited as their top five targets of blame were people from other countries traveling to the United States (37%), mainstream media (27%), Americans traveling abroad (23%), Biden ( 21%) and the unvaccinated (10%).
- About one in 10 of those who were vaccinated blamed Biden, while about the same share of the unvaccinated blamed Trump.
Methodology: This Axios / Ipsos survey was carried out from July 30 to August 30. 2 by the Ipsos KnowledgePanel®. This survey is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 999 adults from the general population aged 18 or older.
- The margin of sampling error is ± 3.3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of adults.