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The Ronald Reagan Institute’s 2021 National Defense Survey posed a number of questions related to China and its position in relation to the U.S., including one regarding the origins of COVID-19.
“When asked about the theory that the coronavirus was developed by scientists working at a lab in Wuhan and accidentally leaked, and that the Chinese government then lied about it, nearly three quarters (72%) of Americans believe it is likely, with 42% saying it is very likely,” a report by the Reagan Institute said, discussing the poll results.
Not only did the survey show that most participants believe the pandemic leaked from a Chinese lab, majorities of those from both parties and independents felt the same way. Of Republicans polled, 86% believed it was likely that COVID-19 leaked from a Wuhan lab, while 61% of Democrats and 67% of independents agreed.
Additionally, majorities of all three groups agreed that China should face consequences if it is determined that it did cover up a lab leak.
“If the theory was proven, 76% of Americans think China should pay reparations to other nations as a penalty, including 82% of Republicans and 72% of both Independents and Democrats,” the Reagan Institute said.
Security personnel gather near the entrance of the Wuhan Institute of Virology during a visit by the World Health Organization team in Wuhan in China’s Hubei province on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Another pandemic-related question had to do with public trust of health officials. Nearly half did not say they had faith in them.
“Despite their prominence throughout the vaccination phase of the pandemic, only 56% of Americans report having a great deal or some confidence in public health officials, which down 10 points since February,” said the organization’s report.
This comes at a time when 81% of those polled are still worried about pandemics and 78% fear biological attacks on U.S. soil.