Because most Americans don’t pay attention to the monkeypox epidemic

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U.S. health officials on Thursday declared monkeypox a public health emergency, a move that frees up additional resources for vaccines and other treatments to help control the virus outbreak. The federal announcement comes just days after the governor of California. Gavin Newsom and the governor of Illinois. JB Pritzker has both declared public health emergencies in their respective states.

A number of states have reported an increase in monkeypox cases. The virus – which was recently detected in the United States in mid-May but arrived in the country at least once earlier in 2003 – has led to mild outbreaks in the United States, with areas such as New York, Washington, DC, and Florida exhibiting it. some of the highest case rates per population. But according to recent polls, the majority of Americans don’t pay much attention to the disease and aren’t as worried about outbreaks.

According to a May poll by CivicScience, 36% of US adults said they were “quite concerned” about the spread of monkeypox in the country, compared with 45% who “were not worried at all.” Additionally, the percentage of Americans who told CivicScience they were not worried about being in public places at all increased significantly this year, from 29% in early January to 41% in late May.

The lack of concern may be, in part, due to the fact that the majority of Americans do not pay particular attention to news regarding the outbreak. A May poll by YouGov / The Economist, for example, found that only 11% of respondents were following monkeypox updates very closely. 33% said they pay some attention, but most Americans (56%) said they don’t follow the news very closely, if at all. These numbers have also not increased significantly, despite an increase in cases over the summer. A July survey by the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center found that only 19 percent of Americans were worried about contracting monkeypox in the coming months.

It is possible that concerns about the virus may change after the latest federal government announcement. But there’s still a lot we don’t know about the outbreak, and that lack of knowledge among experts could also be a reason Americans seem largely unaware of how contagious the virus is and whether a vaccine is available. In July, just before the New York Department of Health declared monkeypox an imminent threat to public health, the same Annenberg Public Policy Center poll found that nearly half (48%) of Americans were unsafe. if monkeypox were more contagious than COVID-19 (it isn’t). Another 66% of respondents said they did not know or believe there was a monkeypox vaccine (there is).

Concern about the virus may also be low because there is a stigma associated with it. So far, the outbreak appears to be affecting mostly gay and bisexual men. On the one hand, this means that public health systems have been able to target their messages to the communities that appear most at risk. But that also carries the risk of criminalizing these populations in a similar way to how Asian Americans were targeted at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is also an effort underway to change the name of the virus amid criticism that its current nickname is discriminatory and stigmatizing and that it unfairly associates transmission of the disease to Central and West Africa, despite the current international outbreak not having central connections with those regions.

Furthermore, it is dangerous for Americans to assume that monkeypox poses a threat alone to men who have sex with men. To be sure, it is not a virus in the air and it is not as easy to contract as, for example, COVID-19. (It also can’t be easily passed through accidental skin contact, isn’t fatal COVID-19, and doesn’t usually lead to hospitalization.) But that doesn’t mean other populations aren’t at risk of contracting it or that smallpox of monkeys may ‘Eventually it will turn into another pandemic as the virus has apparently become more transmissible in this round.

Unfortunately, at least for now, there is not enough data to know how serious the monkeypox outbreak could be, which is why public health officials are asking everyone to remain vigilant as President Biden’s administration steps up measures to combat it. at the state and federal levels. Public health officials are optimistic that viral disease is not like COVID-19, but they continue to advise everyone to exercise caution in situations where a sense of personal space cannot be maintained. Americans may currently take a relaxed attitude towards monkeypox, but there is actually still a lot we don’t know about the disease.

More polling bits

  • According to a YouGov poll conducted on July 23, only about a quarter of Americans say they are “very” (8%) or “quite” concerned (18%) that President Biden’s recent COVID-19 diagnosis may prevent the government from perform its functions. -26. That said, many Americans are largely concerned that Biden’s age and health negatively impacted his ability to perform presidential duties: 42% said these factors severely limited his ability to play his role. while adults aged 65 and over (Biden demographics) were the most likely of any age group (50%) to agree.
  • Most Americans (59%) do not know the definition of “carbon neutral,” according to a July 26 survey by Morning Consult. 30% said they were unsure, while 29% misidentified “carbon neutral” from a list of three choices. Interestingly, that number is very similar for self-identified conservationists: 24% said they didn’t know, and 32% gave the wrong answer.
  • According to an August 3 YouGov survey, adults aged 65 and over are nearly twice as likely (51%) as adults under 30 (27%) to write by hand every day. It’s a habit that also varies by race: 46 percent of white Americans reported handwriting on a daily basis, compared to 33 percent of black Americans and 34 percent of Hispanic Americans.
  • According to a July 19-22 YouGov poll, younger Americans are less likely than older Americans to read children’s books. 79% of Americans under the age of 30 reported reading while growing up, compared with 95% of adults aged 65 and over. Additionally, a third of Americans said they had read one or zero books in the past year, while about another third estimated they had read between two and five. But 12 percent reported reading more than 20 … talk about being full!

Biden approval

According to FiveThirtyEight’s presidential approval tracker, 39.2% of Americans approve of the work Biden is doing as president, while 55.7% disapprove (a net approval rating of -16.5 points). Right now last week, 39.3 percent approved and 55.7 percent disapproved (a net approval rating of -16.4 points). A month ago, Biden had an approval rating of 39.2% and a disapproval rating of 55.9%, for a net approval rating of -16.7 points.

Generic vote

In our average congressional polls, Republicans and Democrats are roughly even, from 44.2 percent to 44.2 percent. A week ago, Republicans led Democrats by 0.2 points (from 44.1% to 43.9%). Right now last month, voters preferred Republicans by 2.0 points (42.8% to 44.8%).