Poll: Majority believe US government can stop 'major' Ebola outbreak

Americans remain largely confident that the federal government can prevent a “major outbreak” of the Ebola virus in the United States, according to a new poll from the Pew Research Center.

Fifty-seven percent of poll respondents said that they had either a great or fair amount of confidence in the government’s ability to prevent an outbreak of the disease. Only 32 percent said they were very or somewhat worried that they or someone in their family might come into contact with the deadly disease.

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A man who traveled from Liberia to Dallas became the first person last week to be diagnosed with the virus on American soil. The news has prompted Republicans to question whether the federal government is prepared to deal with the risk of the virus spreading more widely inside the United States.

The Pew poll found a partisan split on whether people see the government as capable of handling Ebola.

Just over half of the Republicans surveyed said they had not much confidence or no confidence in the government’s ability to prevent a large-scale outbreak. Sixty-nine percent of Democrats said they had a fair amount of confidence or greater in the government.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said on Monday that the administration is “assessing and reassessing” the procedures used to screen for the virus but said it is not currently considering a complete travel ban, as advocated by some critics.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) called on the federal government on Monday to do more to address the risk of an Ebola outbreak.