Cal-IHEA, in collaboration with UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies, recently completed the largest survey of Californians to date regarding opinions and attitudes related to COVID-19. The results are fascinating and point to a wide range of potential political and societal impacts arising from our still-unfolding responses to the pandemic. This marks one of the first attempts to record public opinion regarding the Covid-19 pandemic; specifically, with regards to President Trump’s attribution of COVID-19 to China and support for farm workers during the pandemic.
Regarding farm worker protections, Cal- IHEA policy fellow Alein Haro found broad support for providing equitable wages, health benefits, and full wage replacement (if they fall sick with COVID-19) to farmworkers regardless of legal status/guest worker status. However, voters who approve of Trump’s handling of the pandemic, live in the Central Valley/ Inland Empire, and vote Republican are less likely to support providing greater protections for farmworkers.
Considering the President’s attribution of COVID-19 to China, Haro found that Californians who approve of the President are not only more likely to blame the Chinese government for the pandemic and shortage of medical supplies, but they are also more likely to agree with calling the coronavirus the ‘China virus’.