Vaccine and mask mandates increasingly popular in Fox News poll, as pandemic concerns rise

Americans are increasingly worried about the COVID-19 pandemic and supportive of mask and vaccine requirements to slow the spread of the coronavirus, according to a Fox News poll released Sunday. A solid majority of respondents said they support requiring teachers and students to wear masks (67 percent), and a narrower 56 percent back requiring businesses with 100 or more employees to require their workers to be vaccinated or get tested weekly. Support for other mask and vaccine mandates fall between those two numbers.

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The poll also found that 54 percent of respondents favor cities and towns requiring proof of vaccination for indoor events and actives, up from 50 percent in August. That increasing acceptance of vaccine requirements is presumably tied to the 5 percentage point increase in people saying they are "extremely" or "very" concerned about the pandemic, to 74 percent from 69 percent in August. "The shift comes mainly from Republicans (+14) and men (+8)," Fox News notes.

Two-thirds of parents said masks are effective and teachers and students should wear them, and 53 percent said teachers should be required to get vaccinated.

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President Biden's overall job approval rating fell to 50 percent in the poll, down from 53 percent in August. The respondents backed many of Biden's pandemic policies — the vaccine mandate for federal workers, for example, and support for requiring teachers and students to wear masks. And by a 56-39 margin, respondents supported a bill "that would allocate an additional $3.5 trillion toward infrastructure, including spending to address climate change, health care, and childcare," which describes the Biden-backed bill Democrats are trying to pass in Congress. But Afghanistan was a drag on his approval rating.

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The Fox News poll was conducted Sept. 12-15 under the joint direction of Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R), which surveyed 1,002 registered voters nationwide via landlines and cellphones. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is ±3 percentage points.

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