Most Voters Like Dr. Fauci, But Believe Politics Influenced His COVID-19 Decisions
How much do voters trust Dr. Anthony Fauci? Less than they did a year ago, and a majority believe that the government’s COVID-19 expert has been influenced by politics.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 54% of Likely U.S. Voters have a favorable opinion of Fauci, including 34% who have a Very Favorable view of the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. That’s down from 68% and 42%, respectively, in May last year. Thirty-nine percent (39%) of voters now have an unfavorable opinion of Fauci, including 26% who have a Very Unfavorable view of him. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Forty percent (40%) of voters say that over the past year they have become less confident in Fauci's COVID-19 recommendations. Twenty-eight percent (28%) say they are now more confident in Fauci’s recommendations than they were a year ago, while 28% say their level of confidence is unchanged.
Nearly two-thirds of voters (65%) believe political considerations have influenced Fauci's decisions and public statements about the COVID-19 pandemic, including 40% who think political considerations have had a lot of influence on him. Only 11% believe Fauci’s decisions and statements about the pandemic haven’t been influenced at all by political considerations.
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The survey of 1,000 U.S. Likely Voters was conducted on May 23-24, 2021 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
In an interview this week with Newsmax, former President Donald Trump said he got along with Fauci “pretty well,” but said he “usually did the opposite of what [Fauci] wanted,” including the early decision to shut off travel from China.
Democratic voters have much more favorable views of Fauci than do Republicans or voters not affiliated with either major party. Seventy-nine percent (79%) of Democrats view Fauci favorably, compared to 32% of Republicans and 49% of unaffiliated voters.
Sixty-one percent (61%) of GOP voters say they have become less confident in Fauci's COVID-19 recommendations over the past year, a view shared by 19% of Democrats and 41% of unaffiliated voters. Forty-three percent (43%) of Democrats say they have become more confident in Fauci's COVID-19 recommendations over the past year, a view shared by 17% of Republicans and 20% of unaffiliated voters.
Republicans (55%) are more likely than Democrats (29%) or unaffiliated voters (34%) to believe political considerations have had a lot of influence on Fauci's decisions and public statements about the COVID-19 pandemic.
More black voters (66%) have a favorable view of Fauci than do whites (51%) or other minorities (56%). Whites (41%) and other minorities (43%) are more likely than black voters (29%) to say they have become less confident in Fauci's COVID-19 recommendations over the past year.
Voters ages 40-64 were more likely than those under 40 or 65 and older to believe that political considerations have had a lot of influence on Fauci's decisions and public statements about the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among voters who have a Very Unfavorable impression of Fauci, 79% believe politics had a lot of influence on his COVID-10 decisions, while among those who have a Very Favorable impression of Fauci, only 22% say political considerations had a lot of influence on his decisions about the pandemic.
President Joe Biden’s strongest supporters are Fauci’s biggest fans. Among voters who Strongly Approve of Biden’s job performance as president, 73% have a Very Favorable opinion of Fauci. By contrast, among voters who Strongly Disapprove of Biden’s performance, only two percent (2%) have a Very Favorable impression of Fauci, and 67% have a Very Unfavorable view of Fauci.
Most Americans approve the recent recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that Americans vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer need to wear masks, but Republicans are most pleased.
Many of his policies have stirred controversy, but when it comes to how Joe Biden has handled the coronavirus pandemic, most voters approve of the job the new president is doing.
Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.
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The survey of survey of 1,000 U.S. Likely Voters was conducted on May 23-24, 2021 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
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