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September 17, 2021

Charted: What Americans really think about vaccine mandates

Daily Briefing

    A new poll from Monmouth University sheds light on where Americans stand when it comes to President Joe Biden's new vaccine rules, as well as state-by-state mask and social distancing guidelines.

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    How Americans feel about vaccine mandates

    Monmouth University conducted the poll via telephone between Sept. 9 and 13, with 802 adults in the United States responding.

    In the latest poll, 63% of respondents said they supported implementing, or reimplementing, mask and social distancing guidelines in their state, up from 52% who said the same in the previous July poll. The poll also found that 66% of respondents support requiring students, teachers, and school staff to wear face masks.

    According to Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, support for policies meant to stem the spread of the coronavirus crossed political lines. "The current poll shows majorities of residents in both red states and blue states support some type of Covid control measures, and that includes many of the mandates proposed by the president last week," Murray said.

    The poll also found that a majority of Americans support vaccine mandates for certain groups, including health care workers, federal employees, and private contractors working for the federal government.

    In addition, the poll found that nearly 60% of respondents support proof of vaccination being required in order to board an airplane, and a majority support proof of vaccination being required to go to an indoor arena or a workplace. However, respondents were slightly less supportive of requiring proof of vaccination to dine inside a restaurant or attend an outdoor event, with both situations garnering support from 46% of respondents.

    Meanwhile, the poll found that just 11% of respondents believe the United States will have Covid-19 under control by the end of the year. By comparison, 61% of respondents in March said they believed things would start returning to normal by the end of the year.

    In addition, 22% of Americans said they feel the country will never have the coronavirus under control and return to normal, compared with just 9% responding the same six months ago.

    Just under half of respondents said they feel very concerned about a family member becoming seriously ill from Covid-19, the highest mark since January, when 60% of respondents said the same. Similarly, the percentage of people saying they are "not at all concerned" about a family member developing severe Covid-19 also dropped to 12%, the lowest mark since January when 7% responded the same.

    The poll comes as more venues begin requiring proof of vaccination, The Hill reports. "The delta variant has dampened public confidence that we will get clear of this pandemic," Murray said. "That's probably playing a role in broad support for mandates and other measures." (Monmouth University poll, 9/15; Lonas, The Hill, 9/15)

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