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Majority say Biden's top priorities should be coronavirus vaccine rollout, stimulus: poll

Majority say Biden's top priorities should be coronavirus vaccine rollout, stimulus: poll
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A majority of polled voters say President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenThe West needs a more collaborative approach to Taiwan Abbott's medical advisers were not all consulted before he lifted Texas mask mandate House approves George Floyd Justice in Policing Act MORE's top priorities once he is sworn in Wednesday should be coronavirus vaccinations and passing a new stimulus package, according to a Harvard CAPS-Harris poll.

Forty percent of respondents in the poll said the coronavirus vaccination should be the issue Biden tackles first, while 33 percent said passing a new stimulus package should be the first priority. 

“Voters gave the virus as the top reason they chose Joe Biden and it’s their top priority for what they think he should do as president — that translates into getting the vaccine out and keeping stimulus going,” said Harvard CAPS-Harris director Mark PennMark PennMajority says cancel culture poses 'threat to freedom' 41 percent say they are not willing to receive coronavirus vaccine Poll shows most GOP voters back Trump 2024 bid MORE.

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Biden’s inauguration ceremony comes as the coronavirus pandemic rages in the U.S. On Tuesday, the U.S. was set to surpass 400,000 deaths due to the virus roughly a year after the first case in the country was reported.

The president-elect has vowed to take bold action on both fronts.

Biden has set a goal for the U.S. to reach "100 million shots in 100 days" following his inauguration this week. Biden has also said he would like to combat skepticism toward the vaccine in certain communities.

Biden has been critical of the Trump administration’s vaccine rollout, referring to it as a “dismal failure” in a speech earlier this month. 

“The vaccine rollout in the United States has been a dismal failure thus far,” he said. “This will be one of the most challenging operational efforts we’ve ever undertaken as a nation. We’ll have to move heaven and earth to get more people vaccinated.”

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Additionally, the economic impacts of the virus have wreaked havoc on Americans across the country. The president-elect unveiled his $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal last week, highlighting $1,400 stimulus checks, enhanced unemployment benefits, funding to facilitate the quick vaccination of Americans and aid to state and local governments.

Biden’s Treasury secretary nominee Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenBiden cautious in making Trump tax returns decision On The Money: Senators push for changes as chamber nears vote on .9T relief bill | Warren offers bill to create wealth tax OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Texas sues power provider Griddy, alleging deceptive advertising and marketing | More states follow California's lead on vehicle emissions standards | Financial regulators home in on climate risks MORE said at her confirmation hearing Tuesday that it is essential for the administration to “act big” on the matter.

“Neither the president-elect nor I propose this relief package without an appreciation for the country’s debt burden,” Yellen said during the hearing before the Senate Finance Committee. “But right now, with interest rates at historic lows, the smartest thing we can do is act big. In the long run, I believe the benefits will far outweigh the costs, especially if we care about helping people who have been struggling for a very long time.”

The Harvard CAPS-Harris poll of 2,006 registered voters was conducted between Jan. 12-14. It is a collaboration of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and The Harris Poll.

Full poll results will be posted online later this week. The survey is an online sample drawn from the Harris Panel and weighted to reflect known demographics. As a representative online sample, it does not report a probability confidence interval.