Americans are growing increasingly concerned about the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus and of US President Joe Biden's handling of the new strain, according to a new CBS/YouGov poll.
About 62 percent of people in the US say they are concerned about the Delta variant, which is now the dominant strain in the country, including 48 percent of people who are not vaccinated, showed the survey, which was published on Saturday.
Seventy-two percent of the vaccinated people said they are concerned about the Delta variant. Some 53 percent Americans said they are not vaccinated because they are "worried about side effects."
Fifty-seven percent of Republicans in the poll said Biden is focusing too much on getting people vaccinated while only 35 percent of Democrats said the same thing.
Eighty-four percent of Democrats, 62 percent of Republicans and 67 percent of Independents said they are or plan to be fully vaccinated.
However, some 30 percent of Republicans said they will not be vaccinated.
Meanwhile, US surgeon general Vivek Murthy gave multiple interviews on Sunday, where he repeatedly said he is "worried for what is to come" in the pandemic following the spread of the new strain.
He also denounced misinformation surrounding the virus and vaccines, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's controversial decision of lifting of mask guidance.
Murthy said the country is seeing a “proliferation of misinformation online" which is leading to a drop off in national vaccination rates since the spring.
“We are still seeing a proliferation of misinformation online, and we know that health misinformation harms people's health. It costs them their lives,” he said.
Murthy’s comments come as concerns over the coronavirus pandemic have risen in recent weeks, especially with the delta variant spreading rapidly throughout the United States.
Biden said on Friday that American social media companies, such as Facebook, that allow coronavirus misinformation to spread on their platforms are “killing people.”
Biden was asked during a press conference at the White House what his message is to social media platforms on the spread of inaccurate information about COVID-19 vaccines.