Even as most voters have become skeptical of government COVID-19 policies, the majority of Democrats say they favor more restrictive policies, including harsh legal measures against the unvaccinated, according to a recent Heartland Institute and Rasmussen Reports national survey.
That included 59% of Democrats who said they would favor confining the unvaccinated to their homes except in emergencies.
"Would you strongly favor, somewhat favor, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose a proposal to limit the spread of the coronavirus by having federal or state governments require that citizens remain confined to their homes at all times, except for emergencies, if they refuse to get a COVID-19 vaccine?" the survey asked.
Overall, 61% of voters said they opposed the idea, but 59% of Democrats told Rasmussen they like the idea of the government requiring unvaccinated Americans to stay at home "at all times" unless there is an emergency.
Thirty-five percent of Democrats "strongly" agree with the idea, while 55% of Democrats said they would like to see the government fine unvaccinated Americans. Forty-five percent of Democrats liked the idea of limiting the spread of the virus "by having federal or state governments require that citizens temporarily live in designated facilities or locations if they refuse to get a COVID-19 vaccine."
Nearly half of Democrats (48%) believe that "federal and state governments should be able to fine or imprison individuals who publicly question the efficacy of the existing COVID-19 vaccines on social media, television, radio, or in online or digital publications."
When broken down by party, the unvaccinated were 58% Republican and 15% Democrat, according to an July survey by FiveThirtyEight.
Many who have been resistant to getting vaccinated have said they fear the vaccines have not been tested thoroughly and might present a higher health risk than COVID-19. They cite what they say is conflicted advice from government health agencies, which have even drawn fire in recent days from Democrats all the way up to the Biden administration.
Others cite religious concerns, saying fetal tissue was used in research. While no such tissue is contained in the two approved mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna), they do benefit from research into fetal tissue from two elective abortions in 1973 and 1985.
Former President Donald Trump has urged vaccinations, and Pope Benedict has told Catholics vaccination against a pandemic is the most urgent consideration.
The Rasmussen poll surveyed 1,016 U.S. likely voters Jan. 5, and has a margin of error plus or minus 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.
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