Survey finds support for COVID-19 response

| 30/04/2020 | 82 Comments
Cayman News Service
Q5: Rate the government’s response to the crisis

(CNS): An online survey on CNS found strong support for government’s handling of the current health crisis among the 3,400 readers who took part over the last two days, and most regard the curfews as “a necessary evil”. The respondents overwhelmingly said they had confidence in the chief medical officer (84%). However, when the same question was asked about the health minister, only 24% said yes, while 63% said that they did not have confidence in him.

Three quarters of those who participated thought that the government’s response to the crisis was excellent or good, and about the same number appear prepared to put up with the lockdown measures. 61% said they are ‘a necessary evil’, while 11% said they didn’t go far enough. Just over one quarter said they were too harsh, though less than 2% thought they were altogether unnecessary.

Although polls and surveys to see how people feel about their governments are very much a part of any functioning democracy, Premier Alden McLaughlin appears to think they are anti-government.

“Anyone who pays attention to Cayman’s news will realise that… the respite from hard politics is over, some would say sadly. We now have surveys about the performance of the government underway,” he said at Wednesday’s press briefing before complaining about the radio talk shows. “So, we’re back, I think, to business as usual.”

However, regardless of the premier’s disdain, his own approval ratings in this survey were good. 69% of responders said they trust him to lead the Cayman Islands through the health crisis, and although the question was specific, it nevertheless compares well to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson‘s overall positive rating of just 34% and US President Donald Trump‘s job approval of 45% in the time of COVID-19.

The PM would no doubt love to have the approval rating of the UK’s representative in the Cayman Islands, where 72% said the governor was doing a good job.

McLaughlin can also take comfort from the fact that, given a choice of four countries, 58% said the one that has the best approach to tackling COVID-19 is New Zealand, which the premier has often touted as the country he wants the Cayman Islands to copy. A quarter of responders picked Sweden, which has chosen to impose only very lax restrictions in response to the pandemic.

However, the responders are less sure about the next step forward. More than half (54%) said they were equally worried about the spread of COVID-19 and the economy. The rest were fairly equally divided over which is the greater concern.

But asked how concerned they are about the Cayman economy, almost three quarters said they were either very worried or a fair amount, while 14% said they were frightened. When it comes to personal finances, 12% said they were frightened, though generally they were more optimistic about their own money than the general economy, with just over half saying they worried a lot or a fair amount.

This could be a reflection of the fact that two thirds of responders said their job had either not changed or had been adapted. A quarter were working reduced hours, while 10% said their job no longer existed.

Around one third of responders believe the government has a workable plan to deal with the economy, while slightly less than a third don’t. But the rest said they were not sure, apparently waiting for the government to reveal ‘The Cayman Islands Economic Assessment and Stimulus Plan’.

The premier revealed the cover of a draft of the document at Wednesday’s briefing, saying it held recommendations by the Economics and Statistics Office and others, but indicated that Cabinet has not yet begun to discuss these with a goal of settling on a plan to go forward.

This CNS poll is not a scientific survey and is limited to those who are able to respond online and to CNS readers. However, as such a large number of people chose to participate it gives a snapshot of current opinion. A total of 3,427 people took part and at least 2,470 answered each of the 12 questions. The results were gathered over two days.

The survey has now closed but the full results can be seen here.

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Category: Opinion Poll, Politics, Viewpoint

Comments (82)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Think you should re-run the poll. I think the responses will change at this stage.

  2. Robert Mugabe IV says:

    This poll is astonishing and at the same time frightening. I know, I know, it’s only a poll b CNS it’s nothing serious bla bla bla
    So there’s 24% completed blinded by religious gibberish, they are more or less a lost cause at this stage, I just checked again, yes it is 2020.
    Now the frightening thing is 13% are ‘Not sure’.
    Not sure of what exactly ? Clearly this is a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. I’m more scared of the 13% than the religious fanatics.

  3. Anonymous says:

    We’ll see what the polls REALLY look like at next election time.

  4. Moi says:

    Can we have a recount?

    • Anonymous says:

      A necessary evil, we all likely agree with…! Closing beaches NOT so much! people can police themselves and for those who cannot, give them huge Fines! It is not hard to get compliance if you Fine people!

  5. Adam says:

    The most critical question to ask the Government is what is our R0 number.
    The R0 is the transmission rate of a disease – anything below 1 means the transmission to others is in decline. Most governments around the world are opening their economies and relaxing quarantine measure with a R0 number of around 0.6. This is an important metric especially where infection rates in some countries are very high.
    The Cayman Islands has experienced only approx 0.15% of the population being confirmed with COVID-19 and only 1 death (Italian cruise ship passenger with severe heart condition). This means Cayman has extremely low COVID exposure.
    Therefore the data would support:
    – Extremely low new cases per population
    – Extremely low active cases per population
    – Extremely low R0 disease transmission
    All these should give the Government confidence and basis to open up the economy and start to get things back on track.
    It is admirable to not want one single life lost to COVID-19 but if this means perhaps up to 50% of the population will have to endure serious financial distress, potential job loses or layoffs, emotional trauma and long term economic stagnation – then under what basis is the current Government strategic policy based on?

    • Anonymous says:

      Clearly, the vast majority of people are supportive of government and the excellent job that they are doing.

      Thank you very much, Alden, for your leadership.

      • Anonymous says:

        In general I agree that things are going well…not perfect but good enough for now.
        The vast majority of people are understanding and it shows in the low numbers of virus cases.
        Alden is performing to his “best” capacity but when it came to the MoH and the Press that was a big mistake!
        Hopefully Premier you make the right decision and regain your credibility for the benefit of all of Cayman.

      • Anonymous says:

        Most of the people that had no chance of losing their government income were indeed very supportive. Correct.

    • Anonymous says:

      Transmission rate is naturally low because of our climate. Viral transmission declines when it is hot and humid.

    • Anonymous says:

      You cannot have a reliable R0 number without substantial testing and contact tracing.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Sweden’s per capita infection rates are only slightly less than the completely mis-managed USA. Their curve hasn’t flattened, their situation isn’t improving, and their hospitals are under strain with PPE shortages.

    “Are Stockholm’s Hospitals About to Break?” May 1, 2020

    • Anonymous says:

      Cases confirmed and deaths. 5.88%

      Canada – 6.07%
      Germany – 4.06%
      Spain – 11.49%
      Netherlands – 12.27%
      Sweden – 12.32%

      Please tell me more about the US mismanagement.
      NY State – 6.02%

      • Anonymous says:

        Also if you look at total population vs infection rate the US is inline with those referenced countries.

      • Anonymous says:

        As antibody testing has gotten under way in some of those locales such as Sweden and the US, they are showing 25-35% (depending on which study) of the population has been exposed already and has antibodies. Getting close to herd immunity at 50-60% of populations. When death rates are calculated against those numbers, the mortality rate is coming in at .5% or less.

        • Anonymous says:

          But that’s not happening here. Insufficient numbers getting it to get herd immunity. Our only hope is a vaccine so we can open our borders.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah lets talk in a month

    • Anonymous says:

      11:36 tell us what USA could have done better?????

      • Cheese Face says:

        They could have voted in anyone other than Trump. A cigarette butt, a burnt tire or perhaps a moldy turnip? Any of these would have been a better choice.

  7. Anonymous says:

    On the “Tests/1M pop” ranking, CI is already ahead of Finland, USA, Canada, Hong Kong, Belgium and Australia, and pulling away. Thank you Susan Olde!

  8. Anonymous says:

    A poll on CNS is heavily skewed. An actual independent poll would be very interesting.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The people have spoken through this poll. It’s not “official” but it has captured the opinions of those who chose to respond – perhaps a majority of Cayman residents – we don’t know.

    In any case, CNS presented the poll to make a determination and it has. So, detractors, just accept it. Clearly the majority feel the Government are doing the right things to keep us safe. Whether or not you like Dwayne Seymour, Alden, Governor Roper et. al or think they’re all morons.

    So get over it and do what is required to keep us all safer!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Your little meltdown posting 10:16am is proof of exactly what poster 8:11am is eluding to in his post vindictiveness by government and its minions is a long standing tradition in Cayman.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Some of you commentators are just a bunch a jokers with nothing to do. A wasted poll effort if you asked me. With 73 cases of covid-19, the entire team to including The Govenor, Premiere, Ministry of Health , CNO and those behibd the scene MUST be doing a good job. Its clear some of you including CNS does not know what TEAM work means. And perhaps says alot about some commentators. One hand can never clap and if you can clap with one hand , do please tell how. Cheers!

    • Joker on Tap says:

      Please Spare us with your judgemental tirade 10:16am about team work could you the gov’t mouthpiece please publish the names of this so called Covid-19 old boy network recovery team thanks STARR!

  12. Anonymous says:

    I am unsure about thoughts on the economic restart plan only because that information hasn’t yet been shared with us to evaluate. Maybe it’s a rational plan…who knows.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I see Trump organized his own survey. If you are doing a good job you should not be afraid of it.

  14. Anonymous says:

    He needs to drop Jon Jon.

  15. Anonymous says:

    uk gov. should just come in and take over like they did to Turks and Caicos

  16. Naya Boy says:

    Make no mistake Wendy and Sandy the premier views are mild in comparison to some of these political self serving dinosaurs lurking in the back drop and sitting on the various political boards and on this Clovis 19 recovery committee, who’s sick and perverted views equates your honest and upfront take on the news as anti government. They Infact are now seeking ways to curtail press freedoms by economic assassination of those they deem disloyal to their corrupt interest which you guys keep threatening in Government and are using anti Caymanian convenience playing card in their own covert propaganda war. So much for transparency, good governance and sustainability the ppm talking points in last election.

  17. Anonymous says:

    The Governor isn’t even doing anything. He’s just a figurehead. We didn’t vote him in, he was appointed. All he does is sit around on 7 mile beach and play steel pans to try get attention.

    Premier and the elected government are doing all the heavy lifting, while he awkwardly sits there with a smile and hands by his side.

    Be careful people, UK are always trying to figure out a way to take over, but thank God Premier is doing a phenomenal job and making that hard on them.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why the hell would UK want to take over…have we found oil ?
      Grow up.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is about as stupid a thing as I’ve read here. First of all, the UK could give two s*#€s about your tiny island, which is no more than a small town in the relative scope of things for them and secondly the Governor’s office has been instrumental in helping people who are in trouble, because of the shitty rudderless local government. No wonder idiots like MOH get elected here. What idiotic b.s. Get your small minds wrapped around one thing. You only exist as a country because of the tax haven and the safety that being a British Foreign Territory affords you. You’re not dirt poor because the wealthy use you to their advantage and it tricked down. Without that, you’re just another impoverished tropical beach town with unskilled workers and no industry to speak off. Ask all the other struggling beach places, where panhandling is the most popular career choice how that’s working for them? Be grateful or STFU

      • Anonymous says:

        You are a real idiot and we like having you around 10:14am.

        People like you help to keep the majority of the UK voting population dumb, for example, you.

        Maybe before you pass on you will find the UK’s real interest in Cayman.

        Hint: it is not about size of the island, it’s people, and it’s current economy (you are right on all of those points).

      • Anonymous says:

        Spot on. I want to have your babies.

      • Anonymous says:

        Sounds like a Brit/expat type of comment. Who is probably here making good money, who should probably shut the ### up and go back to Britain. We were better here without you and would be better off if you went back. You think so highly of Britain, go back bruh. We’re happy being small here. We’re happy with foraging off turtle and lobstas.

      • Anonymous says:

        Certainly you qualify for ” the biggest loser”. We follow the same economic/financial model as Guernsey, Jersey and the Channel Islands. It is call a low tax jurisdiction and not a tax haven. What happened you just got let go from your non- financial investment job or what? It is normal to let the weakest link go first! Please go off somewhere and educate yourself. It must be very painful and lonely being you.

    • Anonymous says:

      They’re clueless without the Gov leading them. He’s working his butt off and Alden already publicly stated at a press briefing that he couldn’t have managed without the Gov’s help. What are YOU doing, sitting on your fat ass at home typing foolishness on CNS which only shows how dumb you are? SMH.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I see the entire civil service was sent to this poll

  19. Anonymous says:

    He did a good job in the beginning. Then he started called us names. Then he mocked the free press. Then they cancel a briefing last minute because an investigation has begun into another one of their own.

    • Anonymous says:

      @ 6:55 am; “He did a good job in the beginning??? It might be more realistic if you said, “He has done what he was told by his overseers since the beginning”.

    • Anonymous says:

      6.55 Making up your own facts might score points on CNS but not in the real world. The investigation is ongoing and a meeting was held on Friday which completely destroys your lie that à meeting was cancelled because investigation started.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Did you accidentally delete the paragraph about Dwayne “Joke Joke” Seymour?

    What an atrocious approval rating for a minister of health during these times.

  21. Anonymous says:

    To bad Alden wasted so much goodwill defending Jon Jon.

  22. Anonymous says:

    How about you leave the survey up for longer than 2 days? No one in my circle knew anything about it until it was over.

    • Anonymous says:

      Is there social distancing in your circle?

      • Anonymous says:

        Just came from Publix in FL. All was normal, no one was lined up like in prison to wait their turn to make a step, smooth flow of people buying groceries. No one was really paying attention to proximity of the next person. Plexiglass shields separate shoppers from cashiers. Young men disinfect all carts. All was civil and stress free.

    • Anonymous says:

      Leave it up for longer and it would have got “ported” – just like any negative comment on the cruise ship piers would suddenly attract tons of thumbs down, having started off all thumbs up.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Would he suggest we instead use the port, dump, development, or traffic as a better barometer of government performance?

  24. Anonymous says:

    Press on MLA Seymour. You are working hard to help your people. Thank you Premier McLaughlin for believing in Minister Seymour. We salute you Governor Roper! Hats off to you Dr. Lee, you are doing a marvelous job! Donna Bush, you are a star. Respect your leaders!

    • Chester says:

      Where do you get that “WE” stuff, mister 11:53 pm? I do not want a government that leads me downhill!

      • Anonymous says:

        To 7.27 ? ” I do not want a government that leads me downhill!” Then you had better keep the one you have. And don’t get sucked into supporting any of these commenters on here who want to replace our local Govt and replace it with one made up of expats.

    • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      Respects begets respect, they are not gods to be worshipped they work for the people and they better start remembering that.:

    • Anonymous says:

      Only if they EARN respect. Sadly the MOH has not

  25. Anonymous says:

    ‘Anyone who pays attention to Cayman’s news will realise that… the respite from hard politics is over, some would say sadly. We now have surveys about the performance of the government underway,” he said at Wednesday’s press briefing before complaining about the radio talk shows. “So, we’re back, I think, to business as usual.”

    I don’t understand this at all, surely as an elected leader one would intuitively feel an obligation to know if ‘I’m providing a quality service to my customers’ it’s the foundation of any highly revered business. Sincerely Mr Premier, take a few minutes out, you’ll be the better for it.

    • Anonymous says:

      WE pay them handsomely to represent US. It’s only fair that we get to rate their performance. Mr Premier, other than your protracted and unnecessary rant defending MOH the other day I think you and the Guv are doing a fantastic job. But please put your MLAs through some leadership training on tact, diplomacy, and resilience when dealing with difficult situations.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Well, that’s as objective as it gets. Quite useful really. Let see if the Premier will acknowledge a job well done.

  27. Anonymous says:

    My opinion of Mr. McLaughlin completely dropped after seymourwifetrainergate but I think he’s doing a good job handling the Coronavirus. However, I prefer the Governor over all of them.

    • Westminister says:

      Be careful what you wish for. You might get it.

    • Anonymous says:

      We are experiencing a Public Health Pandemic and our deepest concern should be in the ability and performance of Dr. Williams-Rodriquez and Dr. Lee and yet it is all about petty politics. Might I suggest focusing on the real issue, as both doctors are totally out of their depth and only capable of presenting glossy reports. We have no elected medical professionals and they are the ones advising the politicians. It would be refreshing to put politics aside for a while and deal with real issue at hand.

      CNS: It has been made clear that they are in contact with and are being advised by Public Health England, which is staffed by experts in the field. And judging from this survey, your views are in the minority.

      • Doodlebug says:

        I agree with CNS’ comment. I don’t know who Dr WR is, but everyone I’ve spoken to is very impressed by Dr Lee. Highly able, organised, articulate. doesn’t appear to be looking for Mary, Joseph, the Wise Men or miracles to get us out of this mess, just facts, observations and science. Thanks Dr Lee, keep up the good work.

      • Anonymous says:

        I did the survey and I believe it was straight forward and objective. The results clearly shows that most are fairly satisfied with what the Premier is doing. Considering we do not have a blueprint on how to deal with this virus and its effect on all of us I believe that the Premier, Dr, Lee , the commissioner, Dr, Rodriquez and all the healthcare professionals are doing the best they can under these circumstances. Of course none of our doctors and medical professionals have all the answers but they are trained in their field and they are intelligent enough to make good choices and can adapt protocols to try to keep us safe. The entire world is scrabbling to get a handle on this, and at this time they are all we have and we should be very grateful. It could have been much worse. We will always have our politics, and the results does not mean that we are all converting to PPMers but we can still asknowledge that what they did help immensely. The Governor has played his part too. He has been very instrumental in getting supplies for us from the U.K., arranging for the BA to bring the supplies, bring home Caymanians and take back U.K. Nationals who needed to go home. That made a huge difference. By so doing our Beloved isles in the northwest Caribbean could reach out and help our eastern Caribbean neighbors with some of the supplies. The Governor is first and foremost Her Majesty’s Representative and I am grateful for his assistance. As long as we are an overseas territory we will have a Governor ; let us be respectful and grateful.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thumb up was for CNS comment.

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