In 1975, Gallup polled U.S. adults about their confidence in science, and 72 percent of Republicans said they had “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the field. But that number has plummeted by almost 30 percentage points to only 45 percent since the last time the polling firm asked the question.
Confidence in science overall among Americans has seen a six percentage point decline since 1975, from 70 percent to 64 percent, according to the new survey conducted from July 1 to July 5 of this year. Independents dropped by eight points, from 73 percent to 65 percent. However, Democrats’ confidence has increased by 12 points from 67 percent in 1975 to 79 percent today.
The 34 point differential between Republicans and Democrats is a stark reflection of the partisan divide that is dangerously affecting the way Americans view the pandemic, vaccines and health measures recommended by scientists and federal officials.
According to Gallup, the wide partisan polling gap between Republicans and Democrats is only topped by a “49-point party divide in ratings of the presidency and 45 points in ratings of the police.”
The poll results seem to show that decades of anti-science policies and rhetoric, including lies about climate change and more recently covid and vaccines, from right-wing politicians and media have poisoned the minds of a significant portion of the U.S. population.
This week all 50 states saw a rise in Covid cases while vaccination rates have lagged. Because of a steady stream of bullshit about the virus and vaccines from right-wing politicians, certain cable networks, and social media platforms, the U.S. Surgeon General released an advisory calling the spread of health misinformation an “urgent threat” to public health and asked Americans and tech companies to up their efforts to combat the problem.
Additionally, this week Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky spoke to the rise in covid cases, hospitalizations and death rates — calling America’s present covid state “A pandemic of the unvaccinated” and urging all who are eligible to get the vaccine.
According to a report this week from Insider, cases caused by the Delta variant, which is quickly becoming the dominant strain in the U.S., have risen primarily in states with low vaccination rates. And for the most part, those are red states.
Last weekend, anti-vaccine messages came from the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Texas. The crowd loudly cheered while a conservative author boasted about the government having trouble reaching a higher percentile of U.S. citizens vaccinated. Dr. Anthony Fauci called the scene “horrifying” and “frightening.”