- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 9, 2020

Though the world has now witnessed some 18 million confirmed cases of coronavirus and over 700,000 deaths, that grim reminder does not appear to sway public opinion about a vaccine — particularly among Republicans. The majority of GOPers reject the vaccine at this time.

“With more indications that a vaccine could be close, the next question for health professionals, policy makers and political leaders will be Americans’ willingness to be vaccinated once a vaccine is ready. But many Americans appear reluctant to be vaccinated, even if a vaccine were FDA-approved and available to them at no cost. Asked if they would get such a COVID-19 vaccine, 65% say they would, but 35% would not,” reports Shannon Mullen O’Keefe, a Gallup analyst.

The pollster reveals, however, that 53% of Republicans would not agree to be vaccinated. That is the strongest negative reaction among the 16 demographics included in the Gallup poll of 7,632 U.S. residents adults conducted July 30-Aug. 2.

The closest negative opinion came from rural or farm residents; 44% also would refuse the vaccine. Next in line were “non-white Americans,” those 50-64 years old, political independents and parents of children under age 18; 41% of each group would also reject the vaccine.

And the inevitable political divide: Only 19% of Democrats would refuse the vaccine; 81% would get the shot.



“The nation’s influencers — including health professionals, policy makers and leaders — who see a vaccine as a way forward may have their work cut out for them in persuading Americans to take advantage of such an option. Policy makers in government, healthcare, industry and education will need to anticipate that a significant proportion of the population will be hesitant to get a vaccine, even at no cost,” writes analyst Ms. O’Keefe.

“Such resistance is not unprecedented. When Gallup in 1954 asked U.S. adults who had heard or read about the then-new polio vaccine, ‘Would you like to take this new polio vaccine (to keep people from getting polio) yourself?’ just 60% said they would, while 31% said they would not,” she says.

MEMES OF THE DAY

“In an effort to level the playing filed, Barron Trump will debate Joe Biden.”

“Socialism is like a nude beach. Sounds pretty good until you actually get there.”

Timely memes currently circulating on Facebook and elsewhere.

FOX NEWS: A PATRIOTIC BRAND

Fox News has been named as one of the nation’s top “patriotic” brands, according to Brand Keys, a marketing research group that makes this yearly assessment based on a consumer survey. The network is No. 8 on a diverse list of 50 familiar brands judged to be patriotic, including Jeep, Amazon, Coca-Cola, Jack Daniel’s, Kellogg’s and Disney.

“This year, consumers of all ages and political persuasions again awarded the armed services a patriotic ranking of No. 1,” said Robert Passikoff, president of the organization — who says the coronavirus pandemic, political division and social unrest have definitely influenced consumer perceptions.

“Political polarization, growing consumer tribalism, and national social protests have challenged brands this year. Basic tenets of consumer loyalty and brand engagement have been upended, as has the need for how brands define themselves in the context of patriotism,” said Mr. Passikoff.

“Brands — particularly those related to sports — were bumped from the top 50 where they had customarily appeared. In a Covid-enforced absence, teams and sporting goods brands have been replaced by brands consumers deems supportive during a national crisis,” he added.

New to the list: Purell, Clorox and Netflix — which all enjoyed renewed public interest during the pandemic. The survey of 5,370 U.S. adults was conducted in over several weeks in the spring months, and released Aug. 3.

BIDEN QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

President Trump’s nimble reelection campaign offers a discerning “Question of the day” — each day — for Joseph R. Biden regarding the intricacies for his quest for the White House. Here are two questions of the day the campaign asked over the weekend:

“When will the Left tell you who your running mate is?”

“Why can you travel to campaign events in Pennsylvania but not to a TV studio in Wisconsin?”

HOW ANDREW’S GONNA DO IT

News from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office: New York school will open in the fall for in-person learning — that includes 750 local school districts.

Mr. Cuomo now says schools are encouraged to reopen this fall after each of the districts provides public plans and protocols for approval by the state’s education and health departments. Soon.

“Cuomo said each district may reopen and remain open for in-class instruction as long its surrounding region keeps a coronavirus positivity rate below 5%, a recommendation from the World Health Organization. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio set the threshold for New York City lower, at 3%. As of this writing, New York’s low infection rate today enables each district to prepare for allowing students back into classrooms,” noted The Federalist on Sunday.

“If anyone can open schools, we can open schools, and that’s true for every region in the state,” Mr. Cuomo said at a press conference Friday.

“The governor’s announcement now makes New York one of the few states in the country with a transmission rate low enough to warrant reopening under WHO guidelines,” The Federalist said.

POLL DU JOUR

67% of U.S. adults would rather police spend the “same amount of time” in their area as they normally do; 71% of White Americans, 63% of Asian Americans, 61% of Black Americans, and 59% of Hispanic Americans agree.

19% overall would prefer the police spend “more time” in their area; 17% of White Americans, 9% of Asian Americans, 20% of Black Americans, and 24% of Hispanic Americans agree.

14% overall would prefer police spend “less time” in their area; 12% of White Americans, 28% of Asian Americans, 19% of Black Americans, and 17% of Hispanic Americans agree.

Source: A Gallup survey of 36,463 U.S. adults conducted June 23-July 6 and released Friday

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

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