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Unvaccinated Americans’ trust in government plunges: poll

A new poll found that unvaccinated Americans’ trust in the government has plummeted during the last year. 

About 30 percent of adults remain unvaccinated, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF). The group’s trust in government dropped from 43 percent to 22 percent in the second half of 2021, according to an Axios-Ipsos poll released Thursday. Among vaccinated Americans, the number decreased from 67 percent to 60 percent. 

White unvaccinated Americans reported the lowest numbers of trust in government, plunging from 38 percent to 15 percent, according to the poll. For Black Americans, the number dropped from 55 percent to 39 percent.

For vaccinated white Americans, trust decreased from 62 percent to 56 percent, while it dropped 82 percent to 70 percent for vaccinated Black Americans. 

The Axios-Ipsos poll comes as the omicron variant is spreading rapidly across the United States, causing a spike in coronavirus cases in a number of states. 

“As Omicron spreads through the country, the groups that are going to be hit the hardest are going to be these white, unvaccinated populations who have essentially stopped taking precautions and have returned to their ordinary lives,” Ipsos pollster and senior vice president Chris Jackson said. 

White Americans make up 63 percent of unvaccinated people, according to KFF. And while Black and Hispanic people have been less likely than white people to get the vaccine, the gap is closing over time, and political affiliation is now a stronger predictor of vaccination status.

A KFF study last month showed that unvaccinated adults are three times more likely to lean Republican than Democratic. 

Although the Axios-Ipsos poll confirmed that Republicans and Black Americans made up disproportionately large groups of the unvaccinated, it found that the groups manage their unvaccinated statuses very differently.

Black Americans are more likely to wear masks, social distance and trust the government regardless of whether they are vaccinated. Republicans reported being significantly less likely to wear masks and more likely to say that they have returned to pre-coronavirus life. 

“The people who remain unvaccinated have almost no trust in the government,” Jackson said. “It doesn’t really matter what Biden says. They don’t believe anything you’re saying.” 

Unvaccinated people, especially younger patients, are accounting for a significant number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and are 11 times more likely to die from the virus than fully vaccinated people. 

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