Twenty years ago this month, the U.S. launched a major invasion of Iraq. President George W. Bush and his administration at first drew broad public support for the use of military force. Yet the campaign soon left Americans deeply divided, and by 2019, 62% said the Iraq War was not worth fighting.
Overall, 46% of Americans say the statement “public health officials were unprepared for the outbreak” describes their views extremely or very well, including similar shares of Republicans and Democrats.
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.
Many experts say public online spaces will significantly improve by 2035 if reformers, big technology firms, governments and activists tackle the problems created by misinformation, disinformation and toxic discourse. Others expect continuing troubles as digital tools and forums are used to exploit people’s frailties, stoke their rage and drive them apart.
The U.S. is seen positively in advanced economies for its technology, entertainment, military and universities, but negatively for its health care system, discrimination and the state of its democracy.
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.