APCO is tracking Americans’ attitudes and behaviors related to COVID-19 in a series of weekly polls. The latest installment, from polling conducted March 25-30, looked at Americans' attitudes towards the U.S. government's stimulus package. 
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Economic Endgame: Recession Resilience; Responding to Stimulus; Rebounding Stronger

APCO and Oxford Analytica hosted a webinar to discuss economic scenarios for businesses in 2020 and long-term considerations to position your business in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Missed the webinar? You can rewatch it here.
Let’s Make Healthcare as Diversified as our One Human Population Needs it to Be

Nancy Turett, executive director of APCO Worldwide's healthcare practice, on how the COVID-19 pandemic is a call to action to broaden our approach to health:
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"One way in which we can begin to do better is to broaden our thinking about what constitutes the healthcare industry at the outset. Just as determinants of health are much larger than healthcare itself, the determinants of healthcare are larger than the healthcare industry.

The challenge—and the opportunity—then, is to widen our thinking about which industries play a role in healthcare, to find more accurate and inclusive ways for them to work together."

Storytelling in a Time of COVID-19

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, APCO's Iris Shaffer and Lauren O'Leary share new guiding principles to re-strategize and revitalize your company's storytelling in 2020:

"Navigating our new world in this time of crisis is not easy. The media is wholly consumed by COVID-19 - from the cancellation of the arts and sporting events, and school closures, to the new work-from-home economy and the overwhelming daily updates on the spread of the virus. We must all be thoughtful in communicating with the public and dedicated customers in this unique time.

Now is the time to be sensitive and thoughtful, lest your brand is considered thoughtless or out-of-touch for being tone-deaf in a time of global crisis. Like the news cycle, this too shall pass. Now is the time to lay the groundwork for the future.​"

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Governments are turning to technology and the expertise of tech companies to support efforts to control and prevent the spread of COVID-19. While some applications seek to support healthcare professionals track COVID-19 cases or assist in public sanitation efforts, others are raising privacy concerns. In China, the government relied on CCTV cameras to ensure those under quarantine are abiding by the law and introduced applets in WeChat to highlight the health status of individuals. A Chinese company also announced it has developed facial recognition technology to identify people wearing a mask. Mobile data has been used in Italy and Israel, and most recently approved in the UK to monitor the movements of patients with COVID-19. Officials in South Korea and Singapore have gone even further by enabling GPS location tracking to determine if citizens have come in contact with a COVID-19 patient.
Many democratic governments, including those abiding by the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), have underscored the gravity of the situation as a primary reason behind the need to act in the public interest. At the same time, companies around the world are not under any less pressure by data protection authorities to protect sensitive user information. European officials reminded states that electronic communications data should be anonymous or be used with user consent, while emergency legislation justifying increased data collection should also come with safeguards for citizens. Some are already taking this approach: researchers from eight countries are launching a tracing platform based on the anonymous use of Bluetooth technology, eliminating the need to track user data. Looking ahead, COVID-19 is likely to act as a test for the strength of data protection regulations around the world, and may encourage further regulatory action once the epidemic subsides.


As healthcare systems around the globe struggle to address the COVID-19 outbreak, governments and businesses are racing to ensure that front line workers have adequate personal protection equipment (PPE). Some medical staff are being forced to reuse gloves and masks, some of which have been found not fit for purpose, and are seeking help as essential PPE supplies run dangerously low. The global shortage of medical supplies has seen China increase its "mask diplomacy" efforts to donate resources. However, as demand soars, concerns over regulation and quality control have arisen. Officials in the U.S. and France have called for increased supply chain independence, warning of a strategic vulnerability in relying on China. As governments mull over policies to encourage this,  some manufacturers have already adapted assembly lines to support the domestic production of ventilators, sanitizer, and PPE.
While the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic poses several unprecedented challenges to global supply chains, exposing the risk of dependence on critical items while also creating new avenues for domestic players to offer support. As with all other aspects of society affected by the pandemic, interest in supply chains and risk management systems are likely to increase long after COVID-19 subsides. Most importantly, the lessons drawn by businesses and governments as a result of this health crisis will be vital in shaping new business models and product offerings.

Some Positive News

  • Effective antibodies: A team of Chinese scientists isolated several antibodies it says are "extremely effective" at blocking the ability of COVID-19 to enter cells, which eventually could be helpful in treating or preventing Covid-19, The Straits Times
  • Save with stories: Celebrities take to Instagram Live to read children's bedtime stories and appeal for donations, The Guardian
  • Musical relief: Won Hyung-joon played his violin at home and broadcasting on social media to comfort COVID-19 patients at South Korea's Myongji hospital, BBC News
  • YouTube channel to share good news: The Office’s John Krasinski launched a YouTube channel dedicated to sharing good news, The Verge

More Tips from Around the Water Cooler


Everything we do during and after this crisis must be with a strong focus on building more equal, inclusive and sustainable economies and societies that are more resilient in the face of pandemics, climate change, and the many other global challenges we face.

        - António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General

Every company is going to see consumer behavior changes coming out of this event. I don’t expect we’re going to return to ‘normal.’ We’re going to return to a different economic environment. We’re going to return to different business models."

        - John Stankey, President and COO, AT&T
The APCO team is working with clients globally to manage this crisis, and we stand ready to support your needs. For more resources from APCO, including our latest research, information on how we can help or to contact us, visit apcoworldwide.com/coronavirus.