A recent survey co-authored by experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that a quarter of Americans trust the agency’s health recommendations “not very much” or “not at all,” which is four times lower than for doctors and nurses.
37% of individuals surveyed have “a great deal” of trust in the CDC’s health recommendations, while another 37% have “some” trust in the agency. 16% have “not very much” faith in the CDC’s guidelines, while 10% have “no faith” in them. As per CBS News, the findings, published this month in the journal Health Affairs, are the result of a February 2022 survey examining the nation’s trust in public health agencies in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak.
When asked how much they trusted “recommendations made to improve health in general” from various sources, 54% of respondents said they trust doctors’ recommendations “very much,” while 39% said they trust them “somewhat.”
State and local elected officials fared the worst in the survey, with only about one in ten Americans saying they trusted their health recommendations “very much” and roughly one-third saying they trusted them “somewhat.” The CDC received slightly more trust than their state and local public health department counterparts. When the survey asked more specifically about providing information about the COVID-19 outbreak, reported trust also increased.
42% of Americans said they trusted the CDC “very much” to provide accurate COVID-19 data, while 29% said they trusted the agency “somewhat.” Approximately one-third of Americans have “a great deal” of faith in the COVID-19 information provided by state and local health departments.
This is not the first survey to find that the majority of Americans have at least some faith in the CDC’s recommendations. Last year, a Morning Consult survey commissioned by the de Beaumont Foundation found that one-third of Americans trusted CDC public health information and news “not very much” or “not at all.”
In a similar survey conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2021, approximately 20% of respondents stated that they did not trust the CDC’s health recommendations “very much” or “at all.” Compared to those findings from 2021, the results of the CDC survey indicate a significant decline in confidence in the CDC’s recommendations. 52% of respondents in 2021 told the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that they trusted the CDC “very much” or “quite a bit.”
“Even after the onset of the COVID-19 epidemic, the majority of adult Americans continue to have at least some faith in public health agencies. This may present an opportunity for agencies to earn the trust of those who are somewhat or not at all trusting, especially by collaborating with more trustworthy partners, “The authors of the study published in Health Affairs.
More than 70% of People who indicated they did not believe the CDC’s information about COVID-19 cited worries over political influence and conflicting recommendations, according to a survey conducted by Health Affairs. These were also the leading causes of a lack of confidence in state and local public health departments’ COVID-19 information.
The latest survey results were released when the CDC director had been implementing substantial reforms. “Clearly, this administration inherited many of the problems it faces. We’ve taken this opportunity to learn from the problems of the current COVID 19 epidemic, which have been ongoing at the CDC, “Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, testified during a congressional hearing last month.
“This means sharing our scientific findings more quickly, improving the quality of our laboratories, and communicating this research in a clear and straightforward manner,” she added.