More Democrats would want to get tested for the coronavirus (C19) than would Republicans. And, more women than men believe that a vaccine to address the COVID-19 pandemic believe that treatment would be offered at no-or-low-cost under a Democratic president versus President Trump.
These are two key insights gleaned from a look into U.S. adults’ perspectives on the C19 virus in the second week of March 2020. What Are Americans’ Views on the Coronavirus Pandemic? asks and answers an NBC News/Commonwealth Fund Health Care Poll published on 20th March 2020. NBC News and the Commonwealth Fund polled 1,006 people 18 and over between March 10th and 15th 2020.
The first chart shows us Americans’ interest in being tested for the virus if available or exposed. Overall, 6 in 10 people say they would be interested in the test — underneath that, 3 in 4 Democrats would be interested in being tested in available. 1 in 2 Republicans would be interested in the test, with one in 3 keen on the test if exposed to C19.
Since this is America, the issue of costs related to testing and treatment are an issue facing U.S. health consumers. Overall, two-thirds of Americans say their out-of-pocket (OOP) costs would figure into their decision to seek care if they have symptoms: that’s 3 in 4 Democrats and 3 in 5 Republicans.
By age, having insurance matters for self-rationing care — the poll found that 60% of people over 65 would look at OOP costs before seeking care with symptoms, and 70% people 18-64 would consider their out-of-pocket costs.
Clearly, people earning more income would be less likely to examine OOP costs than people earning under $50K a year.
The survey posed the following question in context of the practical timeline for vaccine development:
“Scientists are now working on a vaccine for the coronavirus, but it would be a year or more before it becomes available to the public. Based on what you are hearing from candidates running for president in 2020, how confident are you that the vaccine will be available to the American public at little or no cost?”
The third chart presents results from that question, shining a light on differences in peoples’ view on future access to a vaccine in terms of cost through the lens of whether a Democrat (presumably Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders) or President Trump is seated in the Oval Office.
Note that younger people and more women tend to be more hopeful about access to a vaccine if a Democrat is the next president, compared with President Trump being re-elected.
Health Populi’s Hot Points: In the past several weeks, two realities face the health care industry and financial services: the last of personal protective equipment and ventilators, and the precipitous decline in the stock market.
Political historians and Wall Street analysts, both, point to the importance of trust in leadership giving confidence to both health care providers and investors. In the immediate moment in the U.S., the lack of trust in the Federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has fed into short-term worst-case scenarios for front-line hospital workers, as well as for stock traders, financial planners, and Americans with retirement portfolios losing significant value by the day.
The last chart asks Americans who they trust for information about the C19 pandemic. The greatest trust Americans have for telling the truth about the pandemic is one’s personal doctor, for three-fourths of U.S. health citizens.
Trusted stewards for C19 epidemic information are leaders of federal public health agencies — the poster-man face of which would be Dr. Anthony Fauci.
After that, in 3rd position, would be State and local officials, whose most public faces would be Governor Cuomo of New York state, Governor Inslee of Washington State, Governor Pritzker of Illinois, Governor Newsom of California, and Mayo Bill DeBlasio of New York City. These State and local leaders garner 36% of Americans in terms of trust.
President Trump earns the trust of 30% of Americans, and VP Pence, 26%.
At the opposite end of the trust spectrum, the greatest lack of trust in this chart is shown to be for President Trump, whom 40% of Americans “do not trust at all.” The President is followed by the Vice President, whom 31% of Americans don’t trust at all.
We find ourselves in the U.S. facing a “national war” which seems to be outsourced to 50 state governors in terms of dealing with protective equipment for our front-line providers and patients. Wall Street is left questioning what the unified field theory of public health in America will be as it’s not been codified yet…leading markets to continue trembling. Congress has yet to finalize a plan for U.S. health citizens, waiting to receive word about their immediate physical and fiscal futures, ability to access needed home provisions for their pandemic pantries, and access to testing and care if needed.
The NBC News/Commonwealth Fund poll paints Americans divided in this moment by party, gender and age. When — not if — this pandemic begins to impact American families in the tens of thousands, as it has our compatriots in Italy and other peer nations, I expect some of these partisan, gender and age difference will blur. C19 doesn’t care about our party IDs or ZIP codes. West Virginia, the last of the 50 states to identify C19 positive patients, recorded its 16th patient as of yesterday.
Two West Virginia patients were exposed to the virus attending funerals.