Most think America has a 'moral obligation' to fight Ebola

September 17, 2014, 2:09 PM GMT+0

Most Americans think that the US should help fight Ebola, with wide support for providing medical aid in West Africa

After visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, President Obama has pledged that the United States will take the lead in the global effort to fight the increasingly out of control Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The Army is already on the move to Liberia to construct new treatment centers and to train hundreds of health workers. American soldiers will not, however, participate in any action to enforce quarantines. The Department of Defense has said that it has allocated up to $500 million to the fight against Ebola.

The latest research from YouGov shows that most Americans (53%) think that the US has a moral obligation to help fight the Ebola outbreak, while 23% say that the US does not. Americans over the age of 65 are particularly likely to think that the United States has an obligation to help, with 71% agreeing compared to 51% of people aged 45 to 64.

Asked about specific forms of assistance, Americans only oppose one measure: sending troops to enforce quarantines in West Africa. Otherwise there is significant support for sending medical supplies (82%), sending medical personnel to provide treatment and training (62%) and investing more money in research on Ebola (60%). People also tend to support (42%) rather than oppose (31%) providing financial aid to countries in West Africa.

Up to 2,500 people are believed to have died from Ebola during this outbreak, more than in all previous outbreaks put together.

Full poll results can be found here.

Image: PA