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Reproduced from Kaiser Family Foundation; Chart: Axios Visuals

The coronavirus pandemic is leading Americans toward a more favorable view of doctors, according to our KFF polling.

Why it matters: New appreciation for frontline health care workers — expressed in polling as well as yard signs and nightly applause from apartment windows — could help boost morale within the medical profession and perhaps get young people more interested in specialties that aren’t usually the most lucrative.

By the numbers: Back in 2005, just 17% of Americans said physicians were mostly interested in working for the public good, while 31% said they were mostly interested in making money.

  • This month, 36% of Americans say doctors are mostly interested in the public good, and just 10% say they are mainly about making money.

Between the lines: The profession isn’t seen as completely altruistic: Most of the country — 54% — say doctors care equally about money and the public good.

  • And doctors are still far behind nurses; 60% of people see nurses as mostly motivated by caring for the public good.
  • Doctors are still doing a lot better than pharmaceutical companies and insurers; only 4% of the public say they care primarily about the public good.
  • The many knowledgeable physician-scientists on national and local TV every day talking about the pandemic may also be enhancing the image of doctors with the public.

My thought bubble: Doctors are earning a lot of goodwill right now, but don’t expect the public to cut them too much slack. People are struggling with medical bills and frustrated by their experiences with the health care system, and the pandemic has only heightened cost anxieties.

Go deeper

Nov 11, 2020 - Health

CDC: Masks protect wearers as well as others from coronavirus

Photo: Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

If you wear a mask, you're protecting yourself as well as others from COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in an update on Tuesday.

Why it matters: "Adopting universal masking policies can help avert future lockdowns, especially if combined with other non-pharmaceutical interventions such as social distancing, hand hygiene, and adequate ventilation," per the CDC.

Nov 10, 2020 - Health

Italy tightens COVID-19 restrictions for five hard-hit regions

Duomo Square is seen empty in Florence, Italy, as the country imposes new restrictions. Photo: Paolo Lo Debole/Getty Image

Italy has announced it is tightening coronavirus restrictions for five regions experiencing a wave of cases, the New York Times reports.

Driving the news: Like much of Europe, Italy is seeing a surge in coronavirus cases nationwide, straining the country's hospitals and health care system.

Updated Nov 10, 2020 - World

In photos: Coronavirus restrictions grow across Europe

A waiter stands on an empty street in downtown Lisbon on Nov. 9, after Portugal introduced a night-time curfew for 70% of the population, including the capital and also the coastal city of Porto. It'll last for at least two weeks, per the BBC. Photo: Patricia De Melo Moreira/AFP via Getty Images

Portugal and Hungary have become the latest European countries to impose partial lockdowns, with curfews going into effect overnight. Governments across the continent are imposing more restrictions in attempts to curb COVID-19 spikes.

The big picture: Over 9.2 million cases have been reported to the European Centre for Disease Control. Per the ECDC, France has the most (almost 1.8 million) followed by Spain (over 1.3 million) and the United Kingdom (nearly 1.2 million). The COVID death rate per 100,000 of the population is highest in the Czech Republic (25), followed by Belgium (19) and Hungary (10.4).