The American public is beginning to lose trust in political leaders and scientific institutions as the coronavirus pandemic drags into its sixth month, troubling signs that raise the prospect that millions of Americans may not take advice or get a vaccine once one becomes available.
Two new surveys show most Americans still trust leading scientists and institutions like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but that those levels of trust are beginning to erode.
Nearly 8 in 10 Americans trust the CDC, according to a survey conducted by the COVID-19 Consortium for Understanding the Public’s Policy Preferences Across States, a group of researchers at Northeastern University, Harvard, Rutgers and Northwestern University. That figure is down from 87 percent who said they trusted the Atlanta-based CDC in April.
A poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation found 67 percent of Americans have a great deal or a fair amount of trust in the CDC to provide reliable information about the coronavirus. That number has dropped 16 percentage points since April. Trust in the CDC among Republicans has dropped a whopping 30 percentage points.