2018 SURVEY: Most Americans Favor More Funding and Congressional Support for Biosecurity Capabilities
Public Confidence in US Preparedness to Address Biosecurity Threats Has Dropped
WASHINGTON, DC – A new nationwide survey of the American electorate reveals that the vast majority of Americans support increased funding to address biosecurity threats. Additionally, most Americans support their elected officials actively engaging to promote and support biosecurity.
Nationally, 73% of the 1,612 Americans surveyed say they would have a favorable reaction “if Congress decided to increase the budget this year for developing preventive measures for biological and chemical threats.”
How elected officials act on biosecurity issues is important enough to affect voters at the ballot box, according to the survey. A majority of Americans – 52% – say they are more likely to support their elected representative if that representative is “actively engaged in promoting and supporting biosecurity.”
Similarly, 52% say they would become less likely to re-elect a representative who voted AGAINST providing additional funding to the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) and Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). Only 20% say voting against the additional funding would make them more likely to re-elect that representative.
“What we’re seeing in these results is that people care greatly about health security threats and want their elected officials putting more resources into medical countermeasures,” said Brent MacGregor, Co-Chair of the Alliance for Biosecurity, which sanctioned the survey. “Preparedness against naturally occurring and man-made biological threats is a very real part of our national security that Americans across a wide spectrum are willing to spend the necessary money to bolster.”
The new survey also shows more than half of the American public does NOT currently feel confident that the federal government is prepared to address the next biosecurity threat. Only 31% of Americans say they are confident in America’s preparedness to respond to threats compared to 50% confidence in a March 2016 survey.
“The American people deserve to feel safe,” said Chris Frech, Co-Chair of the Alliance for Biosecurity. “We should strengthen the public-private partnerships that enhance national health security and support the rapid development, production, stockpiling and distribution of critically needed, lifesaving medical countermeasures so that Americans can be confident in their government’s preparedness to protect us from biological and chemical threats.”
A closer look at the data shows Americans of every demographic group and political ideology support both the additional funding and the increased attention of their elected officials on biosecurity.
The survey was conducted by Remington Research Group, via both landlines and cell phones. The margin of error is +/- 2.5% with a 95% level of confidence, 1,612 likely 2018 General Election voters participated in the survey and results are weighted to match expected turnout demographics for the 2018 General Election.