Whom do unvaccinated Americans blame for COVID surge? Here’s what a poll found

·3 min read

Most unvaccinated Americans don’t blame themselves for the recent surge in COVID-19 cases across the U.S., pointing instead to international travelers, mainstream media and President Joe Biden as causes.

An Axios/Ipsos poll released Tuesday found that among the unvaccinated, 37% blame people traveling to the U.S. from other countries, 27% (mainstream media), 23% (Americans traveling to other countries), 21% (Biden) and 10% (the unvaccinated.)

Meanwhile, among vaccinated respondents, 79% blame the unvaccinated, 36% (former President Donald Trump), 33% (conservative media), 30% (people traveling to the U.S.) and 25% (Americans traveling outside the country.)

The survey was conducted July 30-Aug. 2 based on a sample of 999 adults. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.0-3.4 percentage points.

“It’s purely political at its core,” said Cliff Young, president of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs. “To the unvaccinated, it just reinforces an already existing false belief system.”

“We’re dealing with a serious misinformation wall at this point that’s clouding facts” for a “recalcitrant group ... The only way to get to them if you’re going to get to them is hard policies, hard mandates,” Young said.

Overall, 21% of respondents said they won’t get the vaccine, and Republicans, people with a high school diploma or less and Black Americans are less likely to say they’ll get vaccinated.

The poll comes as COVID-19 cases continue to spike across the country, fueled by vaccine hesitancy and the delta variant, which was discovered in India and is now the dominant strain spreading in the U.S.

COVID-19 cases across the U.S. have risen 142% in the past two weeks and hospitalizations have increased 83% over that same period as of Aug. 3, according to The New York Times.

Some officials have expressed concern that migrants crossing our border from other countries are spreading COVID-19 in the U.S..

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order last week ordering authorities to pull over drivers transporting migrants, citing COVID-19 risk, the Texas Tribune reported. The order allows the Texas Department of Public Safety to “reroute those vehicles back to their origin point or a port of entry, or seize the vehicles if the driver does not comply.”

Advocates have condemned the order, saying that it allows for racial profiling, according to the publication.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds also pointed to unvaccinated immigrants as “part of the problem” with rising coronavirus cases, Des Moines Register reported.

“Part of the problem is the southern border is open and we’ve got 88 countries that are coming across the border and they don’t have vaccines so none of them are vaccinated and they’re getting dispersed throughout the country,” Reynolds said, according to the publication.

The Biden administration also a renewed a public health order used under Trump’s administration that allows for border agents to send back migrants who arrive at the border without letting them seek asylum, Politico reported.