Feb. 20 (UPI) — A majority of Americans are at least somewhat confident in the U.S. government to adequately handle an outbreak of the coronavirus, a Gallup poll released Thursday indicates.
The survey found that 31 percent of Americans are “very confident” in the federal government’s ability to handle an outbreak of the virus known as COVID-19 and 46 percent are “somewhat confident” while 22 percent were “not too confident” or “not confident at all.”
The 77 percent of Americans who were very or somewhat confident in the government to handle the virus was higher than previous outbreaks, topping 67 percent support for the government during the H1N1/swine flu outbreak in 2009.
To date there have been nearly 75,000 cases of COVID-19 and 2,000 deaths in China alone along with 1,076 cases in other locations throughout the world.
Americans’ overall concern about COVID-19 was on par with levels from other outbreaks. Thirty-six percent said they were very/somewhat worried about the virus, compared to 37 percent during the 2003 SARS outbreak and 32 percent in response to Anthrax in 2001 and 2002.
Concern was greatest among non-whites, low-income households and women as more than 40 percent of each group said they were very or somewhat concerned about the virus.
The survey was conducted from Feb. 3-16 with a random sample of 1,028 adults, aged 18 and older living in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. It was conducted with a 4 percent margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level.