After several months of widespread vaccination, the federal government’s vaccine efforts have hit something of a wall. The United States this week hit its goal of 70 percent vaccination, per the Associated Press, although a month later than President Biden had proposed as an earlier goal.
The surge, brought about by the spreading Delta variant of the virus, has led some local areas to push renewed coronavirus restrictions, including the return of mask mandates in some areas. New York City on Tuesday instituted a vaccine mandate for many indoor places, including restaurants and gyms. The Delta variant, meanwhile, has led to a rise in positive cases among those who are fully vaccinated, although hospitalizations and deaths remain relatively rare among that cohort.
Who’s to blame for the continued spread of the virus and the continuing pandemic? A recently published poll looked at which Americans are to blame.
The poll measured "percentage attributing blame to each group when asked "Which of the following people or groups, if any, do you blame for the rising COVID-19 cases and spread of new variants in the U.S.?”
Among the vaccinated, 78.6 percent blamed “the unvaccinated,” while an additional 35.7 percent answered former President Trump. An additional 33.4 percent blamed “conservative media,” while 29.7 percent blamed “foreign travelers in the U.S.,” while 25.3 percent blamed “Americans traveling internationally.” Respondents could give more than one answer.
Among the unvaccinated, 36.9 percent blamed foreign travelers, 27.1 percent blamed “mainstream media,” and 21.4 percent blamed President Biden. Intriguingly, 9.1 percent of the unvaccinated blamed the unvaccinated.
The poll did find that some vaccine resistance has declined. A full 77 percent of Americans “have either gotten the vaccine or say they are likely to do so,” which is two more than when the survey was taken a month earlier. Parents, also, are more likely to allow their children to be vaccinated than they were last month.
“The latest Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index finds that the Delta variant has stopped America’s re-emergence in its tracks. Delta’s emergence coincides with an increased level of concern and perceived risk among many Americans,” Ipsos said in the release of the poll.
“At the same time, the number of Americans spending time out of the home has declined for the first time since early this Spring and more people are taking protective measures. However, most of this concern and these protective measures are concentrated among the vaccinated indicating behavior changes will have minimal impact on the outbreak among the unvaccinated. On one positive note, the number of Americans registering hard opposition to getting the vaccine has declined and parents are slightly more likely to consider vaccinating their children.”
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.