The Ebola story has broken into the top ten most watched stories in America since 2010, a poll shows. And the story is not yet ended, so it may climb higher still.
According to a new Pew Research Poll, 49 percent of Americans are following the Ebola story “very closely.” This was, according to the pollsters, “a far greater share than interest in news about ISIS airstrikes (29%), U.S. economic news (26%) and the upcoming congressional elections (16%).”
Americans are clearly worried over Obama’s failed response to the Ebola health crisis.
Pew reported that Ebola has now figures among the top ten stories since 2010. Topping that list is the Boston Marathon Bombing that had Americans riveted to the news in April of last year. During that crisis, 63 percent of respondents said they were watching the story “very closely.”
In descending order, the rest of the top ten list consists of the 2012 election (60%), the 2010 earthquake in Haiti (60%), the 2010 Gulf oil spill (59%), the 2012 school shooting in Newtown, CT (57%), the Japanese nuclear disaster in 2011 (55%), Obamacare in 2012 (51%), and the killing of Osama bin Laden in 2011 (50%).
But of other health stories (aside from the Obamacare story), Ebola tops the list of stories from the last 14 years. Only the anthrax scare came close when in 2001 47 percent of respondents said they were watching the story “very closely.”
Respondents also noted that they are worrying more about Ebola now than they did earlier in the month. During the first week of October, only 32 percent said they were very worried about Ebola. By October 20 that number had grown to 41 percent.
Despite the many missteps by the Obama administration in its response to Ebola, though, 54 percent still said they feel confident that the government can prevent an outbreak of the deadly virus inside the USA.
Also, 61 percent still told Pew that they had a fair amount of confidence that US hospitals could handle any Ebola outbreak.