Dealing with coronavirus has declined as a policy priority, especially among Republicans. This marks a shift from last year, when the economy and the coronavirus both topped the public’s policy agenda.
Trust in scientists and medical scientists has fallen below pre-pandemic levels, with 29% of U.S. adults saying they have a great deal of confidence in medical scientists to act in the best interests of the public. This is down from 40% in November 2020 and 35% in January 2019, before COVID-19 emerged. Other prominent groups – including the military, police officers and public school principals – have also seen their ratings decline.
Americans are increasingly critical of the response to COVID-19 from elected officeholders and public health officials. Positive ratings of public health officials, such as those at the CDC, have fallen 10 points since August. And 60% of U.S. adults say they’ve felt confused as a result of changes to recommendations on how to slow the spread of COVID-19.
About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts.