- The Washington Times - Friday, May 21, 2021

A quarter of Americans say the coronavirus pandemic is already over and confidence in Dr. Anthony Fauci, a prominent federal scientist, is declining among independents and other voters, according to a poll released Friday.

The Convention of States Action and The Trafalgar Group found 42% of all voters say their confidence in Dr. Fauci has decreased while 22% say it increased. That includes nearly 42% of independents who having waning faith in the doctor versus 20% who say it increased.

Democrats are standing by the doctor — at 20% decreased, 32% increased — while two-thirds of Republicans say their confidence in him decreased.

“Since the beginning, Dr. Anthony Fauci has served as the face of, and has set the tone for, Washington’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mark Meckler, president of the convention, a nonprofit that seeks to place checks on federal power. “His numerous contradictions, admitted lies, and opinion-driven directives rather than science-driven guidance has impacted the way voters view him and the federal government’s response overall.”

Mr. Meckler didn’t detail his criticisms but Dr. Fauci, a highly visible official, has served as a lightning rod for criticism of the federal approach, including shifting guidance on masks and sliding metrics for what constitutes herd immunity.

Dr. Fauci says he didn’t recommend masks at the start of the pandemic because the feds feared there wouldn’t be enough for health workers and there wasn’t ample evidence of asymptomatic spread at the time. 

He’s acknowledged he moved goalposts on immunity levels based on what the public might accept, causing an outcry.

Mr. Meckler said governors who’ve managed to balance economic activity and infection control serve as better role models for handling the pandemic.

Trafalgar pollsters also found roughly a quarter of people think the pandemic is over — the U.S. is reporting about 29,000 cases per day — and just over a quarter will look to the federal government and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to say when it’s concluded.

Nearly 20% consider it over when everyone’s had their crack at the COVID-19 vaccine, while 17% aren’t sure when it will over, and 11% never took the virus seriously.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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