- The Delta variant and rising case numbers are top worries for Americans on the pandemic, as a plurality say the “worst is yet to come” for the first time since February.
- Despite rising cases and worries, Biden and Democrats remain more trusted to handle the pandemic and Republicans more blamed for the rise.
- Half of Americans say Biden is doing enough to get people vaccinated, while just one in four say the same of Republicans.
As Concerns About Delta Variant Grow, Plurality Now Say Worst Is Yet to Come
The greatest share since February 2021 now say the “worst is yet to come” in the pandemic, up 17 points since just two weeks ago and 31 points since mid-June.
Share Saying Worst Is Yet to Come Increasing Across Party Lines and By News Consumption
Since mid-July, there have been double-digit increases in the belief the “worst is yet to come” among Fox News viewers (+14), CNN viewers (+16), and MSNBC viewers (+14).
More than the Olympics or Space Travel, Americans Are Hearing Most About Rising Cases
Three in four Americans report hearing about “breakthrough cases” among vaccinated people and four in five report hearing about increasing coronavirus cases, both higher than have heard about the Olympics.
Rising Cases Nationwide Are Top Worry, Less Fear About Personal Risk
Compared to April 2020, those “very worried” about both personal infection (30% in April 2020) and someone close to you getting infected (43% in April 2020) are lower now.
Lagging Vaccination Rates and the Delta Variant Top Concerns, With Many Placing Blame on Republican Governors
Among respondents who say “the worst is yet to come,” major drivers of this belief are the spread of the Delta variant, rising case counts, and those who are unvaccinated, with many expressing frustration with Republican governors – particularly Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
While Biden’s Approval Overall and on the Economy Remain Steady, His Pandemic Approval Sees Slight Downtick
While Biden’s approval has remained consistently high on his job overall (net +5) and the economy (+2), there’s been a slight decline in his approval on handling the pandemic (+15).
But, Biden and Democrats Still Much More Trusted to Handle the Pandemic Than Republicans
More than half of Americans trust Biden and the Democratic Party (53%) more than the Republican Party to combat coronavirus.
More Say Biden Is Doing Enough to Get Americans Vaccinated Than Republicans in Congress
Among independents, 42% think President Biden is doing enough to get Americans vaccinated, while only 24% say the same of Congressional Republicans.
Majority Say the Rate of Vaccination in the United States Is Too Low
Among those who are vaccinated, 77% say the rates of vaccination are too low.
Vaccine Blame Is Clear: Social Media Misinformation, Trump, and Republicans
Among the 55% of Americans who say vaccination rates are too low, 68% blame misinformation on social media, 44% blame Trump, and 41% blame Republicans in Congress.
Americans Evenly Split on Attacks That Blame Biden For Prematurely Taking Credit vs. Republicans Making Things Worse
Americans are split between believing President Biden is responsible for rising cases because he took credit for the pandemic being over prematurely, and Republicans being responsible for rising cases because they downplayed the threat of the virus or oppose vaccinations and spread misinformation.
The FDA and CDC Are Still Viewed Favorably; Most Are Unfavorable Toward Unvaccinated Americans
Since December 2020, roughly seven in ten continue to hold a favorable view of the FDA (68% favorable now, 71% then); the same is true of the CDC now (62%) compared to when last asked in May 2021 (67%).
About The Study
This release features findings from a national online survey of 1,000 registered voters conducted July 29-August 2, 2021. Additional interviews were conducted among 110 Hispanic voters, 105 African American voters, 100 independents without a partisan lean, and 79 Asian American and Pacific Islander voters.