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CDC reputation declines but is still high among poll-takers

November 24, 2014
by Lois A. Bowers, Senior Editor
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Public perception of the job being done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has dropped this year compared with last year, according to results of a new Gallup poll.

Fifty percent of respondents to a November survey said that the CDC is doing an excellent or good job, compared with 60 percent of participants in a May 2013 poll. None of the eight other federal agencies included in both surveys—the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Reserve Board, NASA, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Internal Revenue Service—experienced a similar decline, according to Gallup. Nonetheless, the only agency with a higher percentage of people saying it is doing an excellent or good job in the November survey was the FBI, at 58 percent. NASA tied the CDC at 50 percent.

Gallup attributes the CDC’s lower evaluation to the threat of an Ebola outbreak, which has stemmed since the time of the survey.

The Veterans Administration, U.S. Postal Service, the Secret Service and the Federal Emergency Management Agency were added in the 2014 survey, and the VA scored the lowest among all agencies about which an opinion was sought. Twenty-nine percent of 2014 poll-takers said the VA is doing an excellent or good job. The VA was the only one of the 13 federal agencies that had a higher percentage of people rating its performance as poor (35 percent) than rating its performance as excellent or good. “The VA faced widespread criticism this year for prolonged delays in medical care for veterans and allegations that managers falsified records to cover up those delays and gain incentives for speedy care,” Gallup notes.