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Monday, February 01, 2016

What America Thinks: Public Health Agencies Rate Our Trust

Americans don’t trust the federal government very much these days, but they’re confident in at least one area: public health. With the new threat of Zika virus making news, many are concerned once again, but past Rasmussen Reports surveys show they’ve always had faith in the government to manage public health crises. Will they still have that confidence this time around? We decided to find out what America thinks.

More than half of Americans were concerned about the Ebola virus in August 2014 when news of the potential threat started to spread, but just as many were confident that the U.S. public health system would be able to contain the disease. By early 2015, when the epidemic was finally ending, 63% said the same.

Americans were even more confident in the public health system in late 2014 when an enterovirus outbreak hit school children across the country. And while Americans were extremely concerned about West Nile Virus in 2012, more than half gave public health agencies positive marks for their response to the outbreak. They also had the utmost confidence in public health organizations to quickly get out warnings about swine flu when it broke out in mid-2009.

54% are currently concerned about the new Zika virus spreading from Brazil, but if history has proven anything, it’s that Americans will once again trust their public health agencies to protect them.

For Rasmussen Reports, I’m Alex Boyer. Remember, if it’s in the news, it’s in our polls.