More than half of Americans blame the federal government for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a higher number than those who said they primarily blamed foreign governments such as China for the disease’s spread.
A poll conducted for the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy by The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 56 percent of respondents say the U.S. government carries “substantial” responsibility for the state of American COVID-19 outbreak, while just 47 percent said the same about leaders of foreign countries and 39 percent blamed the World Health Organization (WHO).
That comes after months of the Trump administration blaming both China’s government and the WHO for the scale of the U.S. outbreak, which has surpassed 7 million cases and more than 209,000 deaths. Top administration officials have claimed for months that the U.S. response was hampered by China’s supposed unwillingness to share data with global health experts, as well as the WHO’s alleged deference to Chinese authorities.
Blame for foreign countries and the WHO is much more popular among GOP voters, 60 percent of whom said that substantial blame is due for leaders of foreign countries including China, while 55 percent said the same about the WHO. Just 37 percent of Democrats blamed foreign countries for the U.S.’s struggles against the virus, and even less — 27 percent — blamed the WHO.
Critics of the Trump administration’s COVID-19 response have pointed to a rise in violence and bigotry suffered by Asian Americans as evidence that the president and other officials’ attempts to link the virus to China has resulted in a rise in racial discrimination.
The AP-NORC poll surveyed 1,053 U.S. adults between Sept. 11-14, before President TrumpDonald John TrumpQuestions remain unanswered as White House casts upbeat outlook on Trump’s COVID-19 fight White House staffers get email saying to stay home if they experience coronavirus symptoms White House says ‘appropriate precautions’ were taken for Trump’s outing to see supporters MORE‘s own diagnosis of COVID-19 was announced last week. The poll’s margin of error is 4.1 percentage points.