NY Times: Social media fights and news coverage have tended to focus on the maskless-and-angry; on large, risky public gatherings; and on harassment of public health officials. But a New York Times/Siena College survey shows a large majority of American registered voters quietly trust the advice of medical experts.
How to medical pic.twitter.com/0EDqJcy38p— Sarah Cooper (@sarahcpr) April 24, 2020
The poll shows that large majorities across the partisan divide trust medical scientists and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, though Democrats are more trusting than Republicans over all. The levels are similar to those found in public opinion surveys earlier in the pandemic, and in the years before it, suggesting that the politicization of the coronavirus response has not demolished the credibility of science.
In the Times survey, 84 percent of voters said they trusted medical scientists to provide reliable information about the virus, with 90 percent of Democrats and 75 percent of Republicans trusting the experts. Overall trust in the C.D.C. was 77 percent — 71 percent among Republicans and 83 percent among Democrats.
Many people are saying #TrumpHasNoPlan, but I have a terrific plan. Better than Obama’s. We test less! Less testing = less cases! Governors DeSantis in Florida and Abbott in Texas are totally on board. @sarahcpr has the details. You are welcome, America! pic.twitter.com/jX37EJ7NK6 https://t.co/mUMkoTmKgh— Manuel de los Reyes (@MaxogramManuel) June 27, 2020
The Pew Research Center, which has been studying trust in scientists since 2016, has seen consistently high scores for medical experts. Its most recent study, from May, showed 89 percent of Americans were confident that medical experts were acting “in the public interest.”
“We’re looking at a long-term decline in trust in institutions, including elected officials particularly, as well as the media,” said Cary Funk, who has led the Pew team. “This stands in contrast to that.”