11 percent of unvaccinated Americans blame Trump for the new COVID-19 wave, poll finds

Donald Trump
(Image credit: Andy Jacobsohn/AFP/Getty Images)

Americans overwhelming blame the unvaccinated for the upsurge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations as the Delta variant sweeps across the U.S., an Axios/Ipsos poll released Tuesday morning found. Overall, 58 percent of respondents blamed unvaccinated adults for the new COVID-19 wave, 32 percent blamed people from other countries traveling to the U.S., and 28 percent blamed former President Donald Trump.

But Axios and Ipsos also split the results apart by vaccinated and unvaccinated respondents, and things got a little strange. Nearly 80 percent of vaccinated respondents blamed the unvaccinated for the new COVID-19 wave, but so did 10 percent of unvaccinated respondents. Trump was fingered by 36 percent of vaccinated respondents but also by 11 percent of unvaccinated adults. The unvaccinated were more prone to blame foreign visitors (37 percent), the mainstream media (27 percent), Americans traveling abroad (23 percent), and President Biden (21 percent). A third of vaccinated adults blamed conservative media.

"The findings expose a surreal gap between the views of the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, showing how tough getting to herd immunity could be," Axios says, but also "providing new evidence that mandates could make a difference." When unvaccinated respondents were asked what would prompt them to get the vaccine, only one in three said a requirement from their employer would work, Axios says. "But that was the highest response among a series of hypothetical incentives that also included getting a raise, bonus, or paid time off, or being required to show vaccination in order to attending sporting events or concerts or to board a plane or train."

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"We're dealing with a serious misinformation wall at this point that's clouding facts" for a "recalcitrant group," said Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs president Cliff Young. "The only way to get to them if you're going to get to them is hard policies, hard mandates."

The Axios/Ipsos Poll surveyed a nationally representative sample of 999 adults from July 30 to Aug. 3, and the survey's margin of sampling error for the entire sample is ±3.3 percentage points. Respondents were told they could choose as many of the listed blame targets as they liked.

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