One in five Americans worry about catching the lethal Ebola disease, amid President Barack Obama’s insistence that the government has the problem in hand.
Twenty-two percent of Americans answered yes when asked by Gallup: “did you, personally, worry yesterday about getting the Ebola virus?”
That’s almost the level seen in 2009 at the peak of worries about the much-less lethal SARS virus. Back then, 25 percent of Americans worried about getting the disease.
“I know that the American people are concerned about the possibility of an Ebola outbreak, and Ebola is a very serious disease… [but] the chances of an Ebola outbreak in the United States is extremely low,” Obama told reporters Oct. 6.
The public’s worry about Ebola will likely add to worries about the direction of the country and damage Obama’s ratings, Washington Post reporter Dan Balz told radio host Hugh Hewitt Oct. 6.
“I’m pretty confident that it plays into this notion that things have sort of begun to spin out of control around the world, and that some of it may be coming home with this Ebola crisis,” Balz said.
“People are nervous about this. They’re scared… if they think that things are not going well, it’s not helpful to the party that holds the White House,” he explained.
An Oct. 6 Pew poll reported that 11 percent of Americans are very worried about Ebola, and an additional 21 percent are worried their family will be infected.