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Americans Feel More Confidence in Public Health System

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Americans are more concerned about their personal safety when it comes to the coronavirus, but they’re regaining confidence in the U.S. public health system to tackle the disease.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 84% of American Adults are now concerned personally about the coronavirus threat, with 49% who are Very Concerned. This compares to 65% and 33% just two weeks ago. Only 14% are not very or Not At All Concerned personally about the virus. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

In late January as the virus first reached these shores, 56% were personally concerned, with 18% Very Concerned. By mid-February, 61% were personally concerned, including 25% who were Very Concerned.

But 66% of Americans are now confident that the U.S. public health system will be able to contain the virus, including 27% who are Very Confident. Thirty-two percent (32%) don’t share that confidence, with 11% who are Not At All Confident.

Earlier this month, however, only 55% were confident that the U.S. public health system will be able to contain the virus, down from 72% in January. Interestingly, though, the number of those who are Very Confident has risen steadily from 20% to 27% since January.

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The survey of 1,000 American Adults was conducted March 23-24, 2020 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Americans strongly support the government’s travel bans and school closings in response to the coronavirus threat, but one-in-four think panic, not reason, is driving some decisions.

Women are much more likely than men to be Very Concerned personally about the coronavirus. The older the adult, the more likely they are to share that level of concern.

Whites are slightly less confident in the public health system than blacks and other minority Americans are.

Forty-nine percent (49%) of Republicans are Very Confident that the U.S. public health system will be able to contain the coronavirus, a view shared by just 18% of both Democrats and those not affiliated with either major political party.

Among Americans who are Very Concerned personally about the virus, 62% are confident the U.S. public health system will be able to deal with it, including 24% who are Very Confident.

Voters are closely divided over how the government has responded so far to the coronavirus threat, but, even in a time of national emergency, it appears that party affiliation overrides all.

Americans plan to continue to grocery shop in the face of the coronavirus threat, and most aren’t worried that food and other necessary items will become hard to find.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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