Californians Support Local Health Departments
In the past few weeks, a vocal minority has shown up to protest local public health orders requiring face coverings in public. Intimidation and threats even led to some public health officials resigning as COVID-19 cases are surging in California. However, a new survey commissioned by The California Endowment shows that Californians strongly approve of the job public health officials are doing in addressing the pandemic.
The survey included 1,240 voters, including a focused oversample of independent and moderate Republican voters. The results showed that voters are broadly concerned about the pandemic, are supportive of public health officials, and are willing to comply with contract tracing. Results also show that voters recognize the disproportionate impact of the virus on low-income communities and communities of color and that government should be active in supporting positive change in our communities.
There is strong approval at the California and local level for how public health officials are handling the pandemic response in contrast to the Federal government, with 68% of voters stating that they totally approve of the way public health officials are handling the pandemic.
Voters are also highly aware of contact tracing and willing to comply if exposed to someone infected.
Voters recognize broad inequities in the impacts the virus has on communities of color and low-income Californians. Voters also acknowledge a collective responsibility to address these inequities and to expand opportunities for Californians more broadly.
- More than nine in ten (93%) agree that “all Californians have a shared responsibility to prevent the spread of the coronavirus;”
- Two-thirds agree that people of color are disproportionately harmed by the health (70%) and economic (67%) impacts of the coronavirus;
- More than three-quarters agree that low-income Californians are disproportionately harmed by the health (78%) and economic (82%) impacts of the coronavirus;
- Fully 77% agree that “we need a more active government that supports more positive change in our communities (77%); and
- Over four in five (82%) say that “it is the responsibility of all Californians to ensure that all people living in the state have the opportunity to live healthy, safe, and economically secure lives.”
You can read the full results from the survey here.
We want to continue to uplift and acknowledge the heroic effort of our public health departments during this time of crisis. Because of their efforts, Californians are aware of their recommendations, the inequities facing certain communities, and are willing to do their part to ensure all Californians can live a healthy life.