50% of Americans don't think the US government is prepared for coronavirus

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50% of Americans don't think the US government is prepared for coronavirus

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  • More Americans are now saying they don't think the US government is prepared to handle the novel coronavirus as the outbreak continues to spread, according to a new Insider poll.
  • Fifty percent of Americans think the federal government is not prepared for coronavirus cases, as compared to 40% of respondents who said so two weeks ago.
  • The rising doubt among Americans comes as the virus has rapidly spread across the country.
  • Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has faced criticism for downplaying the severity of the situation and failing to act quickly.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

A growing number of Americans are saying they don't think the federal government is prepared to handle the novel coronavirus outbreak, according to a new Insider poll, as the government is ramping up its response to the virus' spread.

According to the poll, 50% of Americans think the federal government is not prepared for coronavirus cases in the US, as compared to 40% of respondents two weeks ago.

The shrinking confidence among Americans reflected in the poll comes amid criticism President Donald Trump has fielded for not acting quickly enough to address the virus until the country saw more than 2,000 cases.

On March 13, Trump declared a national emergency that would free up $50 billion of federal funding to respond to the virus with additional tests, medical facilities, and other supplies.

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In a press conference detailing the new funding, Trump made several incorrect and misleading claims. Perhaps most confusingly, the recently appointed White House coronavirus response coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx, presented plans for an online diagnostic platform designed for users to input their symptoms into an online questionnaire to see if they need to be tested for the virus.

The plan was hailed as a move by the administration to increase Americans' access to tests for the virus in a private-sector partnership with Google. But Wired reported that the company was taken by surprise at the announcement because it was a project with its sister company and not able to perform the functions Birx described.

In addition to the national emergency, Trump also announced Saturday he had been tested for coronavirus after interacting with several people who later tested positive. He said he was awaiting results.

The administration also announced Saturday that it was confronting the virus' worldwide spread - which has infected more than 150,000 people and killed more than 5,700 - with additional bans on most travel from Ireland and the United Kingdom.

SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn't try to weigh its sample based on race or income. A total of 1,081 respondents were collected March 13-14 2020, a margin of error plus or minus 3.08 percentage points with a 95% confidence level.

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