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42% of Americans think monkeypox is at least as large a public health threat as COVID-19 now: poll

·2 min read
A test tube of a postive monkeypox virus sample.
Test tube labelled "Monkeypox virus positive" are seen in this illustration taken May 22, 2022.Dado Ruvic/Reuters
  • New polling from YouGov shows that only 1 in 3 Americans consider COVID-19 a bigger threat than monkeypox.

  • Most Americans believe COVID-19 and monkeypox are now equal threats. COVID continues to kill hundreds daily.

  • A minority of respondents said the country is "very prepared" or "somewhat prepared" for another pandemic.

Only 1 in 3 Americans consider COVID-19 — a disease that continues to kill hundreds of people each day in the United States — a bigger threat than monkeypox, which has so far infected relatively few and killed none, according to a new YouGov poll.

The rest of Americans consider the two diseases to be equal threats (33%), no threat at all (18%), or aren't sure (10%), while 9% of respondents consider monkeypox a greater threat than COVID-19.

The poll, which was conducted over the internet between August 4 and 7, revealed that Black respondents were much more likely to view the two viruses as equal threats — 55% did — while 25% of white respondents believed them to be equal threats.

Monkeypox cases in the United States are indeed growing. On August 4, US Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra declared monkeypox as a public health emergency.

"We're prepared to take our response to the next level in addressing this virus, and we urge every American to take monkeypox seriously and to take responsibility to help us tackle this virus," Becerra said at a press conference.

The declaration came less than a month after the World Health Organization declared the virus to be a global emergency.

But despite the declarations from WHO and the HHS, the YouGov poll shows that 35% of Americans don't think the country is doing enough in response to the recent monkeypox outbreak, specifically, and only about 40% believe the country is "very prepared" or "somewhat prepared" for another pandemic if it were to happen.

Widespread knowledge about monkeypox among Americans remains limited: about half of respondents said they're either not following news about the virus at all or "not very closely." Only 2% of respondents said they know someone who's been diagnosed with monkeypox this year — either themselves or another.

The YouGov poll surveyed 1,000 US citizens aged 18 and older and has a margin of error of 3.3%

Read the original article on Insider