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Large bipartisan majority of Americans favor more COVID economic relief

Biden urges Congress to prioritize relief
Biden urges Congress to prioritize relief 08:42

A very large and bipartisan majority of Americans would support congressional passage of a new stimulus bill to help those impacted by the pandemic, and many would prefer that it receive bipartisan support in Congress, too. Meanwhile, a majority give President Joe Biden good marks for his handling of the coronavirus outbreak, and for his job as president overall in the opening weeks of his administration. 

And though most think the coronavirus vaccine rollout in their states is still too slow, most think it has been at least fair. A majority of Americans are planning to either get vaccinated as soon as possible, or are at least considering it, though some remain resistant.

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Large majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and independents, as well as Americans of all income levels would approve of a COVID relief package.

The vaccine

Though six in 10 Americans think the vaccine rollout has been too slow in their states, 73% of Americans think the process has been fair, including majorities of both non-white and lower-income Americans.

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There has also been some progress in convincing Americans to get the vaccine. The percentage who say they'd get one if eligible — including the smaller percent who've already gotten it — is up from last month. The number who will consider it and wait and see what happens to others before getting one has dropped. But 22% of Americans still have no intention of getting vaccinated, and that percentage remains unmoved. Republicans, lower-income Americans, those with lower levels of education, and non-White Americans are relatively more reluctant to get it than Democrats, those with higher income and educational attainment levels and White Americans.

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Republicans trust medical and health professionals generally, and here, they are in alignment with Democrats. A majority of Americans — including most Democrats, Republicans, and independents — also trust stories from people who have gotten the vaccine themselves, as well as their own friends and family.

While assessments are still negative overall, there is some more optimism in America's fight against the outbreak: the percentage who says things are going well has risen 10 points since last month, from 35% in January to 45% today. Some of this appears, however, due to net partisan shifts after the presidential transition with Democrats more positive, offsetting Republicans who became more negative.

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Joe Biden gets good marks overall for the job he is doing handling the coronavirus outbreak, as well as his job as president generally. Sixty-four percent of Americans think he is doing a good job handling the outbreak, and 61% approve of the job he is doing as president so far.

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The stimulus package

As much as they want another relief package, some also want something that could prove difficult in today's hyper-partisan environment: a package that has the support of both parties in Congress. Three in four Americans think it's at least somewhat important that any economic relief package does, including 41% say it's very important. Most Republicans, whose caucus could be cut out of the decision-making process, think this is very important, but a third of Democrats do as well.

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There is also no consensus on how big the package should be. Four in 10 Americans think the economic relief package being discussed in Congress right now is about the right size, but just as many fear the amount of funds being discussed is too small.  Another one in five Americans — most of whom are Republicans — think the amount being discussed is too large.

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Among Democrats, the debate over the size of the package breaks down along ideological lines, with a majority of Democrats who describe themselves as very liberal saying the amount will not be enough, and most who describe themselves as only somewhat liberal or moderate saying the amount will be about right (fewer than one in 10 Democrats think the amount will be too much). Republicans tend more towards believing the package will be too large, though those who say the outbreak has had a major impact on their family's finances are less likely to think so.

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The financial fallout of the outbreak has been widespread. Most Americans say their family's finances have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak in some way, including one in four Americans who say it has had a major impact. Lower-income Americans have been disproportionately affected:  35% of those with incomes under $50,000 say the coronavirus outbreak has left a major financial impact. Most Americans who have felt a major impact think the economic relief package will not be large enough.

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This CBS News survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 2,508 U.S. residents interviewed between February 5-8, 2021. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, as well as the 2020 presidential vote and registration status. The margin of error is ±2.3 points.

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