Most Americans think the Chinese government should pay reparations for failing to prevent the coronavirus from becoming a pandemic, according to a Harris poll published this week.
A majority of respondents—54 percent—said they agreed that China should be "required to pay other countries for the spread of the virus." A majority of independent voters expressed support for Chinese reparations, as did 41 percent of Democrats.
The poll's findings suggest that most Americans, and most Democrats, are not persuaded by the national media's efforts to downplay China's role in causing the pandemic, which in some cases has included the promotion of Chinese propaganda.
For example, 77 percent of Americans and 67 percent of Democrats said China was responsible for the spread of the coronavirus. Almost as many Americans—72 percent—said the Chinese government has not been accurately reporting information about the virus's impact in China; 66 percent of Democrats agreed.
President Donald J. Trump's efforts to impose tougher trade restrictions on China are also popular: Sixty-nine percent of Americans and 53 percent of Democrats say they support such policies. Even Trump's controversial use of the phrase "China virus" is seen as more acceptable than not. According to the poll, 52 percent of Americans agree with Trump's characterization of the virus, while 48 percent disagree.