(The Hill) — A new poll shows nearly two-thirds of Americans believe the risk of deadly pandemics is rising in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a survey published Friday by the Pandemic Action Network, 61 percent of Americans strongly agreed or agreed with the statement that “we are now in an era of increased risk due to deadly infectious disease outbreaks and pandemic threats that can land at our doorstep in a matter of days.” Only 20 percent of those polled disagreed with that statement.
When asked about whether the country was prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic, 45 percent of respondents said that the United States government was “very unprepared” and 24 percent said the government was “somewhat” unprepared. Just 4 percent said the U.S. was “very prepared.”
Most Americans said they wanted to see the government spend more on pandemic preparedness, with over 60 percent saying they want to see more federal and state spending. Additionally, 46 percent said they support funding pandemic preparedness on a global level and 53 percent of those respondents say that they support strengthening world preparedness to prevent deadly outbreaks from spreading to the United States.
The poll also found that experiences of personal loss due to COVID-19 drove respondents’ thinking when asked about pandemic preparedness. The top reason for strengthening pandemic responses among respondents was that it could save lives.
“All in all, respondents consistently agreed with the idea that pandemic preparedness should be a priority for government investment,” the poll stated. “No matter how the question was asked, or what specific type of funding or source of funding was considered, participants wanted to see the government prioritize funding for pandemic preparedness.”
The poll was run by YouGov and surveyed 2,000 Americans from Jan. 4-19.