The president’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic remains supported by a majority of Americans following the White House’s announcement of the most restrictive national measures yet to battle the virus’s spread.
A Fox News poll released on Sunday found that a majority (56 per cent) supports President Joe Biden’s plan to require all businesses with more than or exactly 100 employees to require vaccinations or regular Covid-19 testing for their workers, a move that some conservatives have argued is unconstitutional.
The president’s plan to require vaccinations for all federal workers and contractors, a number estimated to be in the millions, is also supported by 58 per cent of Americans, according to the poll.
Moreover, the poll showed that Republicans who have sought to make “personal choice” and “personal responsibility” the slogans of their Covid-19 response plans are in a clear minority when it comes to support for their views.
More than two thirds of respondents said that they supported school districts requiring both teachers and students to mask up, a prospect that has been openly opposed by some GOP leaders such as Florida’s Ron DeSantis. About the same percentage of respondents said that businesses should be allowed to institute their own mask mandates at their choosing.
Conservatives are losing ground on just about every aspect of their messaging regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the poll. In August, 50 per cent of poll respondents said they supported businesses requiring proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test result when a customer enters; in just one month, support for that practice has risen by 4 percentage points.
For months, Republican leaders on Capitol Hill and in state governments around the country have pushed messages of scepticism towards the vaccine and the concept of mask-wearing, and have publicly resisted efforts to mandate either.
Many have chafed at questions from reporters regarding whether they personally received a Covid-19 vaccine as scepticism towards vaccinations and those who choose to receive them remain high in conservative communities.
The Delta variant of Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc around the country as the US daily death average continues to rise and communities where vaccination rates remain low have been overwhelmed by outbreaks that have left hospitals understaffed and overcrowded to the point of being overwhelmed.
Mr Biden delivered his harshest remarks yet aimed at the unvaccinated in a recent White House address announcing the new vaccine requirements, stressing that the pandemic only persists to the extent that it does in the US because of vaccine scepticism.
“We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin. And your refusal has cost all of us. So, please, do the right thing,” he said.