Focus Group: Vaccine Holdouts Are Sick of Fauci

Posted: Apr 22, 2021 10:35 AM

Regular readers will recall that we've been writing about Dr. Anthony Fauci's ineffectiveness as a messenger for months, culminating in this post earlier in the week. It embedded a recent poll showing that aside from Democrats, who hold him in the highest regard, Fauci's credibility among independents is weak – and almost non-existent among Republicans. Fauci does endless interviews but is he advancing the ball. He's very effective at motivating many of the types of Americans who were most eager to get vaccinated, but who also make decisions like this: 

The latest data demonstrating that Fauci is a deeply flawed communicator, if the goal is convincing the unconvinced, comes via a Frank Luntz focus group of vaccine-hesitant Republicans: 

The group was "roundly" negative toward Fauci, strongly preferring their own doctors' advice. Perhaps that could part of the key for some of these people – having local physicians involved in explaining why the vaccines are safe and effective and helping to allay significant fears about longer-term side effects. The detail about "booster shots" is interesting and intuitive. If lots of people are already concerned about the initial immunization process, it's probably not helpful for prominent people to be out there speculating about potential future shots. First things first. And yes, when you keep telling people all the things they still can't do after being fully inoculated, they're not going to rally to your cause. The latest data further affirms the overwhelming, resounding, incredible effectiveness of the vaccines: 

They work spectacularly well and are the ticket to normalcy. Anyone pretending otherwise, or engaging in hang-wringing and hedging, is part of the problem. I'll leave you with Europe resuming its rollout of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, currently paused in the US because the tiny possible risks are swamped by the benefit of the shot. It's almost as if the J&J suspension is having an effect here at home: