MOSCOW, October 22 (RIA Novosti) - Forty nine percent of the US Republicans say they are afraid of being infected with Ebola, while only 36 percent of Democrats say they are afraid of the deadly virus, according to a Pew Research Center survey.
“Since early October, worries about Ebola exposure have increased across most demographic and partisan groups. But the rise in concern has been particularly striking among Republicans,” read the survey, released on Tuesday.
The latest Pew survey spoke to over 2,000 American adults between October 15-20.
In early October, 16 percent less Republicans said that they were afraid of being exposed to Ebola, while just three percent less of Democrats expressed their concern.
The federal government’s handle of the Ebola endemic has become a heated topic amongst Republicans and Democrats before the 2014 November 4, midterm elections.
After Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian native, who traveled to the US and later tested positive for the disease, there died on October 8, a bipartisan debate ignited around whether to issue a travel ban on those coming from Ebola stricken West African countries to the US.
Republicans began criticizing the Obama administration’s handling of the Ebola endemic in the US, after two healthcare workers, who cared for Duncan at a hospital in Texas also contracted the disease.
Despite bipartisan calls for travel bans, the Obama administration stated that a travel ban was not part of their Ebola response plan.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio announced on Monday that he would introduce legislation by mid-November that would ban individual’s from West African countries with the worse cases of the Ebola outbreak from entering the US.
But amid the bipartisan Ebola debate, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced on Tuesday that travelers from the West African countries affected the most by Ebola would have to go through five designated airports for screening before entering the country.
According to the October 17 WHO data, more than 4,500 people have died from the disease, with more than 9,200 confirmed, probable and suspected Ebola cases.