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Politics Podcast: What Americans Think About Vaccines, Mask Mandates And Shutdowns As COVID-19 Cases Spike

Cases of COVID-19 are surging in the U.S., largely due to the spread of the delta variant. Earlier this summer, an average of 11,000-15,000 cases per day were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but that average is now surpassing 60,000 per day. The federal government and some states have started taking measures to try to increase vaccination rates, particularly among public employees and health care workers. A recent Hill-HarrisX poll showed that a solid majority of voters would support the reinstatement of mask mandates in their area if COVID-19 cases started to spike, but overall, Americans are split on what to do about the rise in cases. In this installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, the crew talks about where Americans stand on mitigation efforts, how politicians are responding and what public health experts are saying about the current state of the pandemic.

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The FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast is recorded Mondays and Thursdays. Help new listeners discover the show by leaving us a rating and review on iTunes. Have a comment, question or suggestion for “good polling vs. bad polling”? Get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments.

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Galen Druke is FiveThirtyEight’s podcast producer and reporter.

Maggie Koerth is a senior science writer for FiveThirtyEight.

Alex Samuels is a politics reporter at FiveThirtyEight.

Geoffrey Skelley is an elections analyst at FiveThirtyEight.