Given China’s silence and secrecy about the outbreak of the coronavirus virus, a sizable number of voters here think the Asian giant needs to pay up for some of the losses the virus has caused. But there’s little war talk so far.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 42% of Likely U.S. Voters think China should help pay at least some of the financial costs that have resulted from the global transmission of the coronavirus which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Thirty-six percent (36%) disagree, but another 22% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Fifty-four percent (54%) of Republicans feel that China should pay at least some of the world’s coronavirus bills, a view shared by only 37% of both Democrats and voters not affiliated with either major political party.
The Chinese have attempted to blame the virus on the U.S. military, and at least one major newspaper in China has suggested that the Chinese government should restrict U.S. access to major prescription drugs, many of which are now manufactured there and not in the United States, in retaliation.
Twenty-eight percent (28%) of voters here say that if China follows through with that threat, it should be considered an act of war. Forty-eight percent (48%) disagree, but 25% are not sure.
Twenty-one percent (21%) view China as an enemy of the United States. Only 10% consider China a U.S. ally, while 61% rate it somewhere in between. These findings are consistent with surveys for years.
The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted March 15-16, 2020 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Americans are only slightly more concerned about their personal safety as the coronavirus pandemic grows, but they’re noticeably less confident that the U.S. health care system can deal with the problem.
Men and those under 40 feel more strongly than women and older voters that China should pay at least some of the virus’ global costs. Entrepreneurs share that belief more than government workers and those employed in the private sector.
GOP voters (36%) are more likely than Democrats (26%) and unaffiliated voters (21%) to consider Chinese restrictions on major prescription drugs to be an act of war. But there is general partisan agreement when it comes to whether China is a U.S. ally or enemy.
Voters who think China should pay are more likely to consider China an enemy than other voters.
Among voters who Strongly Approve of the job President Trump is doing, 57% say China should help pay at least some of the world’s coronavirus costs.
In mid-January, Trump signed the first phase of an historic trade agreement with China, although both countries are still keeping their recently imposed tariffs in place for now. Voters tended to think the China deal will be good for America and were more upbeat on how it will impact them personally. But as usual, party line made a difference.
Sixty percent (60%) of Republicans – and 35% of all voters – said earlier this month that the media and some politicians are playing up the threat of coronavirus to hurt Trump.