The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Americans more critical of Biden’s pandemic response, Post-ABC poll finds

President Biden speaks about the coronavirus pandemic response and vaccinations in the State Dining Room of the White House on Sept. 24. (Patrick Semansky/AP)
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Americans’ approval of President Biden’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic — one of his most positive assets early in his presidency — has continued on a downward trend in recent months, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found.

This tracks with the trajectory of the public health crisis that seemed to be easing this summer, but roared back to life with the spread of the more-contagious delta variant and plateauing vaccination rates in some areas.

The Post-ABC poll finds that 47 percent of Americans approve and 49 percent disapprove of Biden’s handling of the pandemic. In a June survey, 62 percent approved and 31 percent disapproved. Overall, 53 percent of Americans disapprove of Biden’s handling of the presidency while 41 percent approve — numbers that were almost exactly reversed in June.

The poll, which was conducted over the phone Nov. 7-10 among a national sample of 1,001 U.S. adults, showcases the increasing relevance of schools as a battleground for political debates that play out at the national level, including over the handling of the pandemic. When asked about their school districts’ pandemic policies, 25 percent of adults felt they were too strict, 53 percent said they were about right and 16 percent said they weren’t strict enough.

Here’s what to know

  • New York City is advising health-care providers to allow everyone over 18 to get a coronavirus booster shot. City officials announced the guidance Monday during a news conference, saying they hope to prevent a jump in infections as temperatures drop, the holidays approach and more people gather indoors.
  • Florida lawmakers will meet Monday for a special session called by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) to debate legislation designed to hobble Biden’s federal vaccine mandate and future vaccine mandate efforts at the state level.
  • Nearly two years into the coronavirus era, much of Europe is once-again facing a surge in cases — and in some countries, a return to lockdowns and other restrictions that had begun to feel like a distant part of the pandemic.
  • The government of Austria has ordered millions of unvaccinated people into lockdown, as coronavirus infections and hospitalizations have surged in recent days.