President Joe Biden made repeated promises to voters that his administration would follow the science in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.
After months in office to make good on that vow, one poll suggests Americans are feeling increasingly disillusioned.
The new Gallup survey indicates that Americans are generally pessimistic about the pandemic rather than optimistic — for the first time since January. Polling data shows a dramatic recent downturn.
In June, an overwhelming 89% of Americans felt optimistic about the nation returning to normal. By July, that number dropped to 40% with 45% expressing pessimism.
The drop in optimism is especially noteworthy in light of the president’s approval rating, which has been anchored by generally high approval of his COVID-19 policy.
Americas now increasingly fear societal disruptions will continue throughout the year, if not longer. In June, however, nearly half of respondents predicted such restrictions would last no more than a few months.
Just weeks ago, Biden attempted to tap into that optimism, marking the Fourth of July as a celebration of the nation’s freedom from the virus. In recent days, the administration has made a series of reversals.
A number of Americans were angered and confused last week when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that vaccinated Americans resume wearing masks in many indoor situations.
Of course, the recent Gallup poll took place between July 19-26, which preceded the CDC’s new guideline. It remains to be seen if that news further erodes public confidence.
Although respondents were generally more concerned about contracting the virus in the recent poll than they were in June, they had not begun staying home and were not more likely to wear masks. The polling results signaled that many Americans are “not yet ready to return to strict social distancing or to recommend that the country shut down.”
In addition to recent revelations that vaccinate people can spread the virus, the Biden administration has angered many Americans as COVID-infected undocumented immigrants are reportedly released into U.S. communities.