Most view CDC favorably despite Ebola uproar, survey says

CDC, Department of Defense viewed favorably by most Americans

Despite criticism for its response to Ebola in the United States last year, a majority of Americans have a favorable view of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to a survey released Thursday by the Pew Research Center.

The survey found that 70% of Americans have a favorable view of the CDC. Agency leader Dr. Tom Frieden and the Obama administration came under fire last fall when a man traveled from West Africa to Dallas with the virus and infected a pair of nurses who treated him. Some, including lawmakers on Capitol Hill, argued that the CDC did not properly train hospital officials in proper protocols for treating Ebola patients.

Pew’s survey — which was conducted Jan. 7-11 and surveyed about 1,500 adults — asked respondents about several government agencies such as NASA, the Department of Defense and the CIA.

NASA and the Department of Defense garnered favorable responses: 68% and 65%, respectively.

Perceptions of the Department of Veterans Affairs took a dive. The survey found that 52% have a favorable view of the department, down 16 percentage points from October 2013.

Last year, then-VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki came under intense scrutiny for reports that some hospital employees conspired to hide months-long wait times that veterans faced when seeking care. Shinseki eventually resigned from his position.

The partisan divide among Democrats and Republicans toward many government agencies is stark.

Pew’s survey found that Republicans hold less favorable views than their Democratic counterparts of seven of the eight federal agencies in the survey. Among those agencies, the CIA was the only one that Republicans viewed more favorably than Democrats.

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FOR THE RECORD

Jan. 23, 12:16 p.m.: An earlier version of this article stated that the Pew survey found that Republican respondents held less favorable views than their Democratic counterparts of five of the eight federal agencies listed in the survey. The GOP respondents held less favorable views of seven of the eight agencies.

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