If 78% of Americans Don't Trust the Government Why Should They Trust The CDC & Fauci?

Public trust in government remains low. Only about one-quarter of Americans say they can trust the government in Washington to do what is right “just about always” (2%) or “most of the time” (22%).

For years, public trust in the federal government has hovered at near-record lows. That remains the case today, as the United States struggles with a pandemic and economic recession. Just 20% of U.S. adults say they trust the government in Washington to “do the right thing” just about always or most of the time.

Among the public overall, majorities say the government does a very good or somewhat good job keeping the country safe from terrorism (72%), responding to natural disasters (62%), ensuring safe food and medicine (62%), strengthening the economy (54%) and maintaining infrastructure (53%).

Americans are far more critical of how the government handles several other issues, including managing the immigration system (just 34% say it does a good job), helping people get out of poverty (36%) and effectively handling threats to public health (42%).

Trust has played an important role in effectively managing the COVID-19 pandemic, as countries with higher levels of social and government trust have typically seen slower virus spread and a lower mortality rate.10 As trust rises, so does confidence in government information generally, enabling a unified response and increased citizen cooperation.  Some Nations like Singapore are learning to ‘Let It Go’ and Live With Covid. 

Transparency is the first step to understanding what the problems are, but it’s not the full solution. We need foundational institutional change that takes community knowledge and expertise seriously and includes different perspectives, particularly from communities that are historically marginalized or that are likely to be skeptical. It’s important to consider geography, for example. Representing different viewpoints will address a primary concern to both parties. 

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