- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 11, 2021

A majority of Americans support vaccine mandates for health workers, teachers and people who work in an office setting and six in 10 parents support school mask mandates, according to a poll released Thursday.

The Monmouth University poll also said 53% approve of President Biden’s handling of the pandemic even as his overall approval rating dropped 4 points, from 46% to 42%, compared to a similar poll in September.

Pollsters took stock of the situation as vaccine mandates roil the political landscape and parents square off with school boards over masks and other COVID-19 rules.

More than six in 10 Americans (61%) think vaccines should be mandated for health workers, 59% support a mandate for school teachers and 53% think the shots should be required for students 12 or older.

Among a subgroup of parents, 60% support school mask mandates and 52% support teacher vaccine mandates, although just 40% support a vaccine mandate for older students, according to pollsters, who said the numbers were relatively unchanged from two months ago.

“The dramatic images of parents protesting at school board meetings has not shifted overall public opinion on mandates one way or the other since the beginning of the school year,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

The poll found 57% think vaccination should be a prerequisite for flying on a plane yet only 39% think people should show proof of vaccination to dine inside a restaurant — a requirement in big cities like New York City and Los Angeles.

As the U.S. faces an uncertain winter, about a third of U.S. adults (34%) are very concerned about a family member getting seriously ill from the coronavirus — down from 45% in September, during the peak of the delta wave, but higher than the pandemic-era low of 23% in June.

Approval of Mr. Biden’s handling of the virus crisis rose one percentage point from September, though the poll and similar surveys show the president’s overall ratings suffering from his messy exit from Afghanistan and Democratic dithering on his agenda on Capitol Hill.

For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.

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

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