New Poll Highlights Support for a People’s Vaccine and Bold Coronavirus Relief for Working Families

By Oxfam

Americans from both sides of the political aisle support aggressive action to provide fair vaccine distribution and economic relief to those in greatest need.

A new poll from Oxfam America and Data for Progress, finds likely voters in the United States strongly support actions by President Biden and Congress to help people deal with and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, regardless of nationality or wealth. The poll shows the majority of likely voters oppose monopoly control of the coronavirus vaccine or corporate liability protections, but rather support a bailout plan that requires companies that received federal bailout money to raise their minimum wage and provide $2,000 stimulus checks.

“American voters agree that COVID-19 vaccines should not be controlled by corporations but rather distributed fairly and made available free of charge, to every individual, rich and poor alike, no matter their nationality,” said Gina Cummings, Oxfam America’s vice president of Advocacy, Alliances and Policy. “Indeed, no one should be denied access to a life-saving vaccine because of where they live or how much money they have.”

The national survey of 1140 likely voters, conducted January 13-14 by Data for Progress, shows that 90 percent of likely voters want the vaccine to go to those in high-risk groups first, regardless of wealth or nationality, or those prepared to pay for it. This attitude is shared by voters regardless of partisanship: among likely voters that self-identify as Democrats, Independent / Third Party voters, and Republicans, 90 percent, 90 percent, and 91 percent respectively all want the vaccine to go to higher risk groups first. What’s more, 85 percent of voters oppose drug companies holding monopoly control over vaccine manufacturing and pricing, with opposition higher among Republicans (89%) than Democrats (85%). 

The poll also indicates that voters are in favor of prioritizing worker safety during the pandemic. A majority of likely voters oppose corporate liability shields, which limit the ability of employees and customers to sue if they contract the coronavirus. In addition, 57 percent of voters agree that any company receiving federal bailout money as part of a coronavirus relief effort should be required to raise their minimum wage to $15 an hour. 

Finally, the poll suggests that voters across party lines express strong support for direct relief of $2,000 checks in the next stimulus package, as opposed to $600 checks, with 66 percent of all voters in favor, including 62 percent of Republicans.

Taken together, these results show strong support that in many cases cuts across party lines for a free vaccine that goes to those who need it first, further stimulus checks for those who have been impacted, and prioritizing worker safety and well-being.

“This pandemic has damaged countless lives and has ravaged our economy,” said Cummings. “These results indicate clear support for President Biden to work quickly with Congress to enact a transformational COVID-19 recovery plan that helps families cope with the economic impacts of the pandemic, gets people back to work, reins in corporate power and helps rebuild our economy from the bottom up.”

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