White House health advisor Anthony Fauci has been dubbed an American hero by First Lady Jill Biden, but a majority of Republicans polled by YouGov are saying the infectious disease expert has “hurt” the US more than he’s helped.
A new Yahoo!/YouGov poll has only further proven how polarizing a figure Fauci has become in the US. While he remains involved in the country’s Covid-19 response and continues to be plastered across cable news, Fauci is also angering Republican critics, who accuse him of flip-flopping on key pandemic-era issues such as support of mask mandates.
Asked whether Fauci has “hurt” or “helped” the US more during the pandemic, 46% of respondents said he’d helped, while 30% preferred “hurt.” Another 24% were “not sure.”
Among Republicans, however, negative views on Fauci rose, with 61% saying he’d “hurt” the country more and only 22% saying he “helped.”
Broken down to the opinions of Trump voters, Fauci’s popularity decreases even more, with 71% saying the vocal Trump critic “hurt” the country.
Despite Fauci’s polarizing nature, White House officials seem to completely back the health expert, with some even unaware that he even has so many critics.
During a visit to the Children’s National Hospital in Washington, DC with Fauci, Jill Biden praised him as an “American hero.”
“Did you meet our American hero?” Biden asked hospital staffers at one point when referencing Fauci.
Later when speaking, Biden claimed, “I think everybody in America loves Dr. Fauci.”
Fauci faced a new wave of criticism recently after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a reversal of its masking guidance, advising fully vaccinated individuals to refrain from social distancing and masking indoors or outdoors, with the exceptions of businesses that mandate it and in situations like on public transportation.
Fauci, a stern supporter of masks, switched his position too, despite previously saying mask mandates might be in place through the end of next year and getting into heated exchanges with critics like Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) about the importance of vaccinated people continuing to wear masks.
According to the YouGov poll, only 28% of Republicans believe unvaccinated people should continue covering up indoors, while 66% of Democrats say they should.
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