The number of Americans who trust Dr. Anthony Fauci has dropped sharply over the past year, according to a recent poll.
Of those asked whether their confidence in Fauci had gone up or down in the past year, 42.2% of those surveyed expressed a “decreased” trust in the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), according to a Trafalgar Group poll. Of that segment, 12.1% said their confidence simply “decreased,” while 30.1% said their trust had “decreased significantly.”
— Wendell Husebø (@WendellHusebo) May 21, 2021
Among Democrat respondents, only 20% said that their confidence in Fauci had decreased, with 32.4% claiming it had actually increased. Of Republicans, however, their distrust has spiked 66.1%, with 50.8% saying their confidence had decreased significantly.
The survey also found that the faith of 34.7% of Democrats in Fauci has remained steady, while only 13% of Republicans retained the same opinion of him that they had 12 months ago.
Conducted between Sunday and Tuesday, the poll included 1,093 likely voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.96 percentage points.
A YouGov and Yahoo News COVID-19 Vaccination Survey done earlier in May also found Fauci’s approval ratings falling roughly along party lines, with 54% of Democrats claiming Fauci is doing an “excellent” job and a quarter believing he is doing a “good” job. By contrast, only 5% of Republicans believe Fauci’s performance has been “excellent,” 12% believe it has been “good,” 19% believe it has been “fair,” and a staggering 55% said he has done a “poor” job.
As the poll indicates, increasingly more people have questioned Fauci’s competence as the pandemic has dragged on and he seemingly continues to contradict himself, such as flip-flopping yet again on masks earlier this week.
Most recently, questions have been swirling around NIAID’s alleged funding in the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a lab from which some believe the COVID-19 virus might have leaked. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) made this a point of contention during a recent congressional hearing with Fauci. As The Daily Wire reported:
After expressing skepticism regarding the consensus explanation that the virus emerged naturally in Chinese wet markets, Paul claimed the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded the Wuhan lab’s gain-of-function research, which is a form of study that attempts to render pathogens more infectious and lethal.
“Dr. Fauci, do you still support funding of the NIH funding of the lab in Wuhan?” Paul asked Fauci.
“Senator Paul, with all due respect, you are entirely, entirely and completely incorrect,” Fauci replied. “The NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain of function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
Paul then pointed to a $3.4 million grant that the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), the part of the NIH run by Fauci, gave to EcoHealth Alliance in 2014.
EcoHealth Alliance paid the lab in Wuhan $598,500 over five years, according to PolitiFact, which also reported “all parties involved in the grant to the Wuhan Institute of Virology have denied that it involved gain-of-function research.”