Johns Hopkins study: U.S. best-prepared nation to deal with pandemic
The United States is the best-prepared country on the planet to deal with a mass disease outbreak or pandemic, according to a late 2019 study by Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.
“The Global Health Security Index was developed with guidance from an international panel of experts from 13 countries, with research by the Economist Intelligence Unit” from 2018 to 2019, The Washington Post reported last year. “More than 100 researchers spent a year collecting and validating publicly available data.”
The paper noted that the U.S. wasn’t perfect, however, and that “factors driving down the U.S. score include the risks of social unrest and terrorism, and low public confidence in government.”
That said, according to polling released this week, most Americans have confidence in President Donald Trump and approve of his handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
According to a CBS News poll, 54 percent of U.S. adults said they are “optimistic” about the Trump administration’s ability to handle the coronavirus outbreak; 89 percent of Republicans, 56 percent of independents and 25 percent of Democrats agree.
In all, 53 percent say President Trump has done a good job handling the coronavirus outbreak; 89 percent of Republicans, 54 percent of independents and 22 percent of Democrats agree.
“The findings are similar to an ABC News survey released last week revealing that 55% of Americans approved of Mr. Trump’s response to the coronavirus crisis,” the Washington Times reported.
Meanwhile, according to a Gallup survey, 49 percent of respondents gave the president a positive approval rating compared to 45 percent who disapproved.
In that survey, 60 percent of respondents approved of the way Trump was handling coronavirus responses, including 94 percent of Republicans, 60 percent of independents, and 27 percent of Democrats, while 38 percent disapproved.
Fox News reported that misinformation by Democrats including likely 2020 presidential nominee Joe Biden regarding the administration’s response to the outbreak is also hampering recovery.
President Trump’s campaign has argued in recent days that misinformation may be one of the leading causes of that lack of confidence. For example, Trump’s team has pointed to claims by presidential contender Joe Biden that “no one on the National Security Council staff was put in charge” of pandemic preparedness, based on a report that in May 2018, then-National Security Adviser John Bolton eliminated the NSC’s Office of Global Health Security and Biodefense in a reorganization effort.
Rear Adm. R. Timothy Ziemer reportedly was ousted as senior director, and no replacement was named. But, FactCheck.org has determined that the matter amounted to a reorganization, and that “some team members [of the NSC pandemic office] were shifted to other groups, and others took over some of [the top official’s] duties.”
This article originally appeared at USA Features News and was republished with permission.
*Some edits have been made.
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