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Rasmussen Poling: Do people think COVID originated in a Chinese lab? How they view Fauci?

COVID-19: Majority Support Fauci-China Investigation

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

More than two-thirds of voters believe COVID-19 probably came from a Chinese research lab, and agree with Republican demands that Dr. Anthony Fauci testify under oath in a congressional investigation.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 68% of Likely U.S. voters think it’s likely that the COVID-19 virus originated in a Chinese laboratory, including 48% who say it’s Very Likely. Twenty percent (20%) don’t believe the virus came from a Chinese lab, and another 12% aren’t sure. These findings are mostly unchanged since May 2021. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

In June 2021, only 40% of voters believed that Fauci, the federal government’s top virus expert, had told the truth about U.S. funding of so-called “gain-of-function” research in China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology. Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul said Sunday on Twitter there should be “a full-throated investigation into the origins of the [COVID-19] pandemic. [Dr. Fauci] must be required to testify under oath regarding any discussions he participated in concerning the Wuhan lab leak.”

Seventy-two percent (72%) of voters agree with that statement, including 51% who Strongly Agree with Paul’s call for a “full-throated investigation.” Only 22% disagree, including 13% who Strongly Disagree.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it’s in the news, it’s in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 U.S. Likely Voters was conducted on December 12-13, 2022 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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Now, nearly half (46%) of voters don’t believe Dr. Fauci has told the truth about U.S. government funding for gain-of-function virus research, while 38% think Fauci has told the truth and another 16% aren’t sure.

While 61% of Democrats say Fauci has told the truth about gain-of-function research, 72% of Republicans believe Fauci hasn’t told the truth. Among voters not affiliated with either major party, 33% think Fauci has told the truth and 46% don’t, while another 21% aren’t sure.

Overall, 47% of voters continue to view Fauci favorably, including 29% who have a Very Favorable impression of the government’s top virus expert. Forty-four percent (44%) see Fauci unfavorably, including 33% with a Very Unfavorable opinion of him. Again, politics strongly influences views of Fauci, with 52% of Democrats having a Very Favorable impression of him, while 58% of Republicans have a Very Unfavorable opinion. Unaffiliated voters are almost evenly divided, with 42% viewing Fauci at least somewhat favorably and 44% having an unfavorable opinion of him.

Majorities of every political category – 83% of Republicans, 55% of Democrats and 67% of unaffiliated voters – now believe it is at least somewhat likely that the COVID-19 virus originated in a Chinese laboratory. Similarly, 84% of Republicans, 61% of Democrats and 70% of unaffiliated voters at least somewhat agree with Sen. Paul’s statement that Fauci should testify under oath in “a full-throated investigation into the origins of the pandemic.”

More men (51%) than women (44%) have a favorable opinion of Dr. Fauci, but men are also more likely to Strongly Agree with the call for Fauci to testify under oath in an investigation of COVID-19 origins.

Whites (50%) are more likely than black voters (40%) or other minorities (44%) to think it is Very Likely the COVID-19 virus came from a Chinese research lab. Majorities of every racial group – 70% of whites, 63% of black voters and 80% of other minorities at least somewhat agree that Fauci should be required to testify in a congressional investigation of COVID-19 origins.

President Joe Biden’s strongest supporters also have the highest opinions of Dr. Fauci. Among voters who Strongly Approve of Biden’s job performance as president, 91% have at least a somewhat favorable impression of Fauci. By contrast, among voters who Strongly Disapprove of Biden’s performance, 75% have a Very Unfavorable opinion of Fauci.

More than two-thirds of voters are worried that TikTok could be used by China to spy on Americans, and support banning the popular social media platform.

Voters overwhelmingly think censorship by social media sites is a problem, and a majority approve Republican plans for a congressional investigation.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

Please sign up for the Rasmussen Reports daily e-mail update (it’s free) or follow us on Facebook. Let us keep you up to date with the latest public opinion news.

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