Voters say Biden should make coronavirus vaccine a priority: poll

Eufemia Didonato

Forty percent of voters say President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden to nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield for UN ambassador: reports Scranton dedicates ‘Joe Biden Way’ to honor president-elect Kasich: Republicans ‘either in complete lockstep’ or ‘afraid’ of Trump MORE should make distributing a coronavirus vaccine his top priority when he is sworn into office next year, according to a new Harvard CAPS-Harris survey released exclusively to The Hill. 

Thirty-three percent of voters polled said Biden should make it a priority to pass a new coronavirus stimulus package through Congress. 

The findings come as coronavirus cases are on the rise across the U.S. Public health officials are urging Americans to forgo Thanksgiving holiday gatherings, warning that they will likely lead to an even greater surge in cases. 

However, officials say there is a light at the end of the tunnel. A number of breakthroughs have been made on the vaccine front, and some experts say there is a possibility a vaccine could be distributed as soon as next month. 

Drugmaker AstraZeneca announced on Monday that its vaccine candidate, developed by Oxford University, is up to 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19. 

Additionally, last week the drug companies Pfizer and Moderna announced successful tests of their proposed vaccines, both of which found success rates of about 95 percent.

On the stimulus package front, Republicans and Democrats appear to face an uphill climb. House Democrats passed a $3 trillion version of the HEROES Act in May and passed a $2.2 trillion, slimmed-down version of the package in October, but the package has gone nowhere in the GOP-controlled Senate. 

Biden, who met with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiUS economy hurtles toward ‘COVID cliff’ with programs set to expire Democrats gear up for last oversight showdown with Trump Divided citizenry and government — a call to action for common ground MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerNew York City subway service could be slashed 40 percent, officials warn Biden congratulates Pelosi on Speaker nomination Senate Democrats introduce bill to shore up PPE supply MORE (D-N.Y.) on Friday, has supported the Democrats’ legislation. 

He urged Congress to pass a coronavirus relief package “like the HEROES Act.”

Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisWomen set to take key roles in Biden administration Trump campaign appeals dismissal of Pennsylvania election challenge Pressure grows from GOP for Trump to recognize Biden election win MORE are set to meet with U.S. mayors amid the coronavirus surge on Monday. 

The Harvard CAPS-Harris poll of 2,205 registered voters was conducted between Nov. 17 and 19. It is a collaboration of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and The Harris Poll.

Full poll results will be posted online later this week. The survey is an online sample drawn from the Harris Panel and weighted to reflect known demographics. As a representative online sample, it does not report a probability confidence interval.

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