Kabul airport
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News and Commentary

Morning Wire: Biden’s Approval Rating Falling, White House Recommends COVID Booster Shots, The International Community Responds To Afghanistan Turmoil

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It’s Thursday, August 19th, and this is your Morning Wire. Listen to the full podcast here.

1)Biden’s Approval Rating Falling

The Topline: In recent days, a growing number of polls have shown a notable dip in President Joe Biden’s approval ratings amid the collapse of Afghanistan. 

Exclusive Daily Wire Poll: A national poll of over 1,000 Americans commissioned by The Daily Wire through SurveyMonkey found that a growing number of voters blame the president for his role in the crisis.

Biden Approval Rating

The poll revealed that 47% of Americans approve of the job Joe Biden is doing as president, while 45% disapprove. In July, his approval rating was at 52%, which means his rating has dropped significantly in a matter of weeks. 

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Contributor via Getty Images

Poll Demographics

The poll was a representative sample of U.S. adults, which included more Democrats than Republicans. 44% of those surveyed said they voted for Biden, compared to just 34% who supported Trump. 

On The Issues

Foreign Policy: 32% approve of the job Biden is doing while 55% disapprove. 

Immigration: 32% approve of Biden’s performance while over half of Americans disapprove. 

Overall: Americans are twice as likely to say they “strongly disapprove” of his job as president than they are to say they “strongly approve” of it. 

On The Afghanistan Withdrawal 

Since April, there has been a nearly 30-point decline in Americans’ support of a military withdrawal from Afghanistan. Support for leaving was at 73% at the time, but now, only 45% said the U.S. should continue its troop withdrawal. 

Americans cited concern over what would happen to the Afghan people — particularly women and those who worked with the United States during the war — as their main reason for opposing a withdrawal. After that, people were most concerned about the potential return of Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups in the region. 

Overall, 62% of Americans say a terrorist attack against the U.S. and our allies is now more likely following the events in Afghanistan. 

Who’s Responsible?

The number one answer to this question was Joe Biden with 36% of respondents saying the president is responsible for the crisis. 20% blamed President Trump and the remaining 44% were unsure or said neither was to blame.

Kathrin Ziegler/Getty Images

2) White House Recommends COVID Booster Shots

The Topline: The Biden administration announced Wednesday that they are recommending Americans take a third dose of the COVID vaccine, eight months after their second dose. 

Booster Shots

The Biden administration now says Americans who got the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will need to get another dose, as studies continue to show vaccine effectiveness goes down over time. The first Americans to get the boosters will be nursing home residents and healthcare workers. 

First, however, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) needs to approve the boosters.

Data On Boosters

On Monday, Pfizer and BioNTech submitted initial data to the Food and Drug Administration which they say supports giving another dose of the vaccine. According to officials, those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine may need another dose, too, but they’re waiting on results from a trial to make that recommendation.  

Pfizer and BioNTech say results from their trial show the third dose resulted in “significantly higher neutralizing antibodies” against the initial strain of the virus compared to the levels after the two-dose primary series. They also say it helped against the Beta variant and the Delta variant.

Global Impact

The World Health Organization recently called on countries to hold off on boosters until the end of September, so initial doses can go to places with low vaccination rates. 

On Wednesday, President Biden addressed the global implications of boosters, saying “there are some world leaders who say America shouldn’t get a third shot until other countries got their first shot. I disagree. We can take care of America and help the world at the same time.”

In Israel, they’ve already started giving people third doses. France, Germany, and the United Kingdom have also announced plans to eventually give boosters to certain people. 

In the United States, the FDA authorized a third dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for immunocompromised individuals last week.

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3) The International Community Responds To Afghanistan Turmoil

The Topline: The situation in Afghanistan has impacted several world powers, including Russia. The Morning Wire spoke to Sky News Foreign Affairs Editor Deborah Haynes, who discussed global implications for the American withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Russia

In Haynes’s opinion, Russia has had a strategic advantage due to the fact that western powers like the United States and the United Kingdom have been drawn into Afghanistan and expended many of their resources in the country.

Pakistan 

Haynes told Morning Wire that there are suspicions about which side Pakistan is supporting. Analysts are wondering how much Pakistan has helped with the Taliban’s strategy and ability to win over varying ethnic groups in the country. 

Paula Bronstein/Stringer/Getty Images

Other Stories We’re Tracking

Warnings About Afghanistan

Recent reports have revealed that President Biden was warned in advance by top generals and other military and intelligence personnel, including secretary of state Antony Blinken, about the potentially severe fallout of a quick withdrawal from Afghanistan. According to the Wall Street Journal, despite the warnings, the president was “committed to ending the U.S. military role in the country.”

Afghan Women Protest

Videos have emerged of women protesting against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Despite the threat to their lives, women are taking to the streets and demanding rights from the group infamous for abusing and limiting the rights of women. 

Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has filed retirement paperwork which could provide him with about $50,000 a year for the rest of his life. The governor announced his resignation last week following an extensive sexual harassment report.

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