More Americans Blame U.S. Government than other countries or WHO for the Coronavirus Crisis

A majority of Americans want the country to take a major role in developing a vaccine, but Democrats and Republicans are divided about sharing the vaccine globally.

October 5, 2020

More Americans say the actions of the United States government caused the coronavirus situation in the country than attribute it to the policies of foreign governments or the World Health Organization.

This is among the findings of a new UChicago Harris/AP-NORC Poll being released in conjunction with the 2020 Pearson Global Forum, a virtual event that brings together researchers and policymakers to develop strategies to prevent and resolve international conflicts.

Americans are also more likely to say the United States should have a major role in developing a coronavirus vaccine (78%) than to say the same about the World Health Organization (57%), countries in the European Union (55%), and China (51%).

Yet, only 57% intend to get a vaccine when it is available, and that figure declines to 46% if the vaccine were to be developed outside the United States.

If the United States develops a vaccine, a majority say it should be kept for Americans first, even if that means fewer around the world are vaccinated right away.

The poll shows a stark partisan split on who is to blame for coronavirus situation in the United States and the development of a vaccine. For example, 55% of Republicans fault the World Health Organization for the coronavirus situation in the United States compared with 28% of independents and 27% of Democrats. And they are then less likely than independents and Democrats to want the World Health Organization to play a major role in vaccine development (39% vs. 59% and 75%, respectively).

At the same time, Republicans are less likely than Democrats to say they will get a vaccine, regardless of whether it is developed in the United States (42% vs. 70%) or outside of the United States (33% vs. 58%). 

The nationwide survey was conducted by the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The survey was conducted between September 11 and 14, 2020, using AmeriSpeak®, the probability-based panel of NORC at the University of Chicago. Online and telephone interviews using landlines and cell phones were conducted with 1,053 adults. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4.1 percentage points.

Suggested Citation: AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. (October, 2020). “More Americans Blame U.S. Government Than Other Countries or WHO for the Coronavirus Crisis.” [https://apnorc.org/projects/more-americans-blame-u-s-government-than-other-countries-or-who-for-the-coronavirus-crisis/]

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