COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Twice as many Americans don’t trust what President Donald Trump says regarding a coronavirus vaccine than trust him, according to NBC/SurveyMonkey’s latest weekly tracking poll.
In the first week this question has been asked, 52 percent of U.S. adults polled last week said they do not trust what the President has said about a possible COVID-19 vaccine, compared to just 26 percent who do trust him. Twenty percent said they were not aware of his comments.
Predictably, answers to this question varied widely based on political ideology. Republicans and Republican-leaning individuals trust the President’s COVID-19 vaccine claims 58% to 14%, while Democrats and Democrat leaners distrust his claims 88% to 3%.
A majority of independents also distrust the President’s vaccine claims, 55% to 10%, although 34% said they are unaware of his claims.
Last week’s poll, released Tuesday, surveyed 36,654 U.S. adults Sept. 7-13 and is nationally representative of age, race, sex, education level and geography. Its margin of error is +/- 1 percentage point.
The survey also found that Americans are less likely to say they will get an eventual government-approved coronavirus vaccine. About as many adults say they would (39%) as are still not sure (36%). The gap between the two is closing, however, as the yes/not sure comparison was 44% to 32% when the question was first asked five weeks ago.
The share of respondents who say they will not get the vaccine remain virtually unchanged (23% last week; 22% five weeks ago).
When will there be a vaccine?
The process of developing a vaccine and getting it out to the public traditionally takes years, and health officials said early in the pandemic that the most hopeful estimate would be 12-18 months. But the President has recently pushed an aggressive timeline.
Trump’s re-election campaign is running a TV ad that claims “in the race for a vaccine, the finish line is approaching.” And during his Republican National Convention speech in August, Trump promised a “safe and effective vaccine this year.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Preventions has also told states to be ready for “large-scale” vaccine distribution by Nov. 1.
The New York Times’ vaccine tracker shows five possible vaccines in China and Russia have been approved for early or limited use, but their effectiveness has yet to be proven. One of the best hopes for a vaccine in the U.S. is a British initiative from AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, but the U.S. National Institutes of Health is “very concerned” that a trial participant for that vaccine suffered spinal cord damage.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the NIH’s infectious disease institute, said last week that having a reliable vaccine by early November is “unlikely.”