Mere 24% of Israelis trust government’s handling of pandemic

The Home Front Command survey reveals a steep plummet from the 60% confidence during the first wave.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

A recently conducted Home Front Command survey revealed that only 24% of the Israeli people trust the government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, Channel Two’s “This Morning” radio program reported Tuesday.

Also troubling in the survey was that only 21% said they understood the various regulations and guidelines the government was putting out regarding Covid-19.

“It may be necessary to improve,” said Deputy Health Minister Yoav Kish in reaction to the numbers. He could understand the frustration the public feels from this whole period, he added.

These numbers are actually an uptick from a survey the Home Front conducted at the end of July. Then, a record low of 19% said that they trusted the way the authorities were dealing with the pandemic, and just 17% understood what the Health Ministry was asking of them.

The numbers were far higher when the first wave of the disease hit Israel and the country went into lockdown. In March and April, nearly 60% of the public trusted what the government was doing, and fully 70% called its regulations clear and comprehensible. Even in a May-June poll, 52% still believed in the government.

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In somewhat of a paradox, although a clear majority of 65% are afraid of getting infected, only 38% felt comfortable calling the pandemic a national emergency. This may change, as Channel 2 also reported that the Health and Defense Ministries and food organizations have presented data that hundreds of thousands of families will need basic food supplies in the near future as their cash reserves have run out.

Most of them are young people and have never faced such a situation before, but long-term unemployment caused by the massive shutdown of the economy has now put them below the poverty line.

“There is an urgent need to address a serious and alarming phenomenon that will continue to expand,” a security source told the network. The source added that a mechanism is currently being set up with local authorities that will have the task of mapping out the gaps and ensuring food security for those families who are unknown to social services, many of whom are ashamed of their new situation.