Health

Voters Largely Support White House Plans to Ship Free COVID-19 Tests, Masks

The move comes as voters’ net approval for Biden’s pandemic response remains underwater

Residents line up at a drive-up distribution site to receive free at-home COVID-19 test kits on Jan. 02, 2022, in Stamford, Conn. Nearly 3 in 4 voters said in a new Morning Consult/Politico poll that they approve of the Biden administration’s plan to allow U.S. households to order four free at-home COVID-19 tests, including almost 9 in 10 Democrats and 3 in 5 Republicans. (John Moore/Getty Images)

The American electorate overwhelmingly backs the White House’s plans to distribute free at-home COVID-19 tests and highly protective N95 masks, a new Morning Consult/Politico poll shows.

About 7 in 10 Voters Back White House Plans to Give Out Free COVID-19 Tests, Masks

The share of voters who said they approve of the Biden administration’s plans to distribute the following to Americans for free:

Poll conducted Jan. 22-23, 2022, among a representative sample of 2,005 registered voters, with an unweighted margin of error of +/-2 percentage points.

What you need to know: 

  • Nearly 3 in 4 voters said they approve of the Biden administration’s plan to allow U.S. households to order four free at-home COVID-19 tests, including almost 9 in 10 Democrats and 3 in 5 Republicans. The White House launched a website and a hotline last week for orders, though some apartment-dwellers cited difficulties.
  • Voters were similarly supportive of the administration’s plan to make 400 million free N95 masks available for pickup from select pharmacies and community health centers beginning this week. Republicans, notably, were slightly less likely to be in favor of N95 distribution than the plan to give out free tests.
  • The White House’s move comes as the COVID-19 surge tied to the omicron variant begins to decline in parts of the country, and as voters sour on President Joe Biden’s response to the pandemic. A separate Morning Consult poll shows that net approval for Biden’s handling of COVID-19 (the share of voters who approve minus the share who disapprove) currently sits at minus 1, up from an all-time low of minus 8 at the end of December.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has also seen a dip in net approval, said earlier this month that N95 masks offer better protection than cloth masks. And with limited supplies of rapid test kits, Democratic lawmakers have pushed the Federal Trade Commission to look into reports of COVID-19 test “price gouging.”

 

The Jan. 22-23, 2022, poll was conducted among a representative sample of 2,005 registered voters, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

Morning Consult