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Majority of American Voters Want Congress to Prioritize and Fund Public Health Preparedness, Poll Reveals

March 30, 2023
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Healthcare Ready, Biotechnology Innovation Organization, and Wakefield Research release data 

Washington (March 30, 2023)-- The last several years have shown that preparing for a public health emergency is vital to protect the public, our national security, and the economy. As policymakers in Congress reflect on ways to strengthen our public health preparedness efforts, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) and Healthcare Ready, in conjunction with Wakefield Research, have released new survey data that show American voters -- on both sides of the aisle -- believe their congressional representatives should prioritize funding for public health preparedness to ensure the United States isn't vulnerable during future public health crises.  

 In summary, the polling data show: 

 There is overwhelming bipartisan support for the federal government to act on a variety of fronts:

  • 95% of respondents believe that "The federal government should prepare for a wide variety of potential public health emergencies.
  • 92% of respondents agree that "The lessons learned from the last pandemic should be incorporated into our national preparedness efforts for the next public health emergency.
  • 90% of respondents agree that "The federal government should expand long-term preventive measures to help avoid any future pandemics."  

 More than 8-in-10 voters believe it is 'extremely' or 'very' important for the federal government to prioritize funding for public health emergency preparedness:

  • More than two-thirds (71%) of voters want the federal government to increase funding for public health preparedness rather than maintain or decrease it because current spending levels are too low (50% say the federal government is spending too little, 17% say too much, 33% say about right).
  • Nearly 8 in 10 voters (77%) say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports funding for public health preparedness. 

 Voters also see the strong connection between public health preparedness and U.S. national security and economic stability. Ninety-two percent of voters agree that "the ability to effectively prevent public health emergencies is a crucial part to maintaining U.S. national security." Furthermore, if another public health emergency were to arise, voters are most concerned with potential economic instability and loss of life that could occur if preparedness efforts are not enhanced. 

 BIO's Phyllis Arthur, senior vice president, infectious diseases & emerging science policy,released the following statement on the new poll: 

 "The data confirms that Americans see the importance of preparing today for future public health crises. Congress has an immediate opportunity to get ahead of these crises -- and safeguard American interests in the process -- as lawmakers review the President's requested public health preparedness budget and work to reauthorize the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act. We hope Congressional leaders hear voters' concerns and move to fully fund U.S. public health, national security, and economic stability for decades to come."

 Healthcare Ready's Executive Director Tom Cotter, MPH, released the following statement: 

"Fully funding preparedness isn't just an issue of public health -- it's one of national security and economic stability. And it's an issue that Americans overwhelmingly support. The poll confirms that American voters on both sides of the aisle want to see their representatives devote substantial federal efforts and resources to ensure we're prepared for the next public health crisis. Congress has an opportunity to bring that peace of mind to those they serve." 
 
To read more about the poll, click here
 

Survey methodology 

The survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 1,000 U.S. Likely Voters, between February 28th and March 8th, 2023, using an email invitation and an online survey. Likely Voters are defined as those who are "certain or almost certain" to vote in the next federal election. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.  

 About Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) 

BIO is the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers, and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial, and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world's largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. Good Day BIO is the only daily newsletter at the intersection of biotech, politics, and policy. Subscribe here.

About Healthcare Ready 

Healthcare Ready is a nonprofit organization established in 2007 to help strengthen the U.S. healthcare system and assist communities in planning for, responding to, and recovering from disasters and disease pandemics. It serves as a linkage point between industry, and local, state, and federal governments to help build resilient communities and safeguard patients before, during, and after public health emergenciesRead Healthcare Ready's recent reportto Congress, which calls for greater federal oversight and interagency communication and coordination in preparing for and responding to public health emergencies. For more information, visit healthcareready.org or on Twitter @HC_Ready. Subscribehere to receive event-specific updates, our monthly newsletter, or all other Healthcare Ready communications. 

 

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