A majority of U.S. likely voters believe political considerations have influenced Dr. Anthony Fauci’s decisions and statements about the Chinese coronavirus, a Rasmussen Reports survey released Wednesday found.
The survey asked respondents, “How much influence do you think political considerations have had on Dr. Fauci’s decisions and public statements about the COVID-19 pandemic?”
Sixty-five percent said political considerations had at least some influence on his decisions and statements. Of those, 40 percent said “a lot of influence.”
While Republicans are more likely to believe politics played a role in his statements (74 percent), a majority of Democrats (57 percent) tend to agree as well. Sixty-one percent of independent voters agree that politics at least somewhat influenced Fauci’s remarks.
The survey also asked respondents to gauge their confidence in the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director. A plurality, or 40 percent, said they have become “less confident” in Fauci’s recommendations over the last year, followed by 28 percent, who said they are “more confident” and 28 percent, who said their confidence level is “about the same.” A majority of Republicans, 61 percent, said they have become “less confident,” while a plurality of Democrats, 43 percent, said they have become “more confident.”
Despite the apparent skepticism, voters tend to have a favorable rating of the White House chief medical adviser, 34 percent identifying him as “very favorable” and 20 percent choosing “somewhat favorable.” Just over a quarter, or 26 percent, have a “very unfavorable” view of Fauci.
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.
The survey, taken among 1,000 U.S. likely voters May 23-24, 2021, has a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.
Fauci has long come under fire for appearing to continually shift his positions on key issues regarding the Chinese coronavirus pandemic. Perhaps most famously, Fauci dismissed the universal need for masks in a March 2020 interview on 60 Minutes.
“There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask. When you’re in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better, and it might even block a droplet, but it’s not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is,” he said at the time, warning of the “unintended consequences.”
“People keep fiddling with the mask and they keep touching their face,” he added:
Happy anniversary to one of the worst takes ever.
One year ago today, Dr. Fauci went on 60 Minutes and said you didn't need to wear a mask.
"Right now in the United States, people should not be walking around with masks. … There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask." pic.twitter.com/dTfjoxWFjf
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) March 8, 2021
Fauci would later become a champion of universal mask-wearing, even speaking highly of double-masking.
Fauci recently made headlines yet again after stating he was “not convinced” the Chinese coronavirus developed naturally, only to change his mind shortly after, stating it was “highly likely” the Chinese coronavirus developed naturally.