Poll: Most Americans confident government could handle an Ebola outbreak

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden

    The nonstop coverage of the Ebola virus and the American health system’s ability to contain it is reassuring for some, alarming for others. We measure the public’s pulse with Frank Newport, editor in chief of the Gallup Poll.

    In the eyes of the American public, there seems to be a steady level of confidence in the government to handle an Ebola outbreak. Newport says Gallup hasn’t measured confidence in the CDC specifically, but about 60 percent of Americans say they are confident that the U.S. government can handle Ebola — which, notably, is down somewhat from what was measured when Gallup asked about the swine flu in 2009.

    Switching gears to the 2014 midterm elections, Americans don’t seem to care much yet about who wins. The number of people who have given thought to the election falls somewhere in the 30 percent range, says Newport — not nearly the level of interest we saw at this time in 2010, during the previous midterm campaigns.

    Plus, there is new research on the impact of marriage. Married Americans clearly have the highest well-being, compared to those who are separated, whole those who are divorced seem to have the lowest.

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