Confidence in U.S. Federal Health Agencies Responding to Coronavirus Pandemic Remains strong among a significant sector of the American public, according to a new survey from the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, but their deepest faith was closer to home.
In a telephone survey of 1,719 adults, 76% said they were somewhat or very confident in the reliability of the information on Covid-19 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and 77% expressed the same confidence in the Food and Drug Administration. The two results, taken from a survey conducted from June 2 to 22, were largely unchanged from an April poll.
Respondents’ highest trust, at 83%, was in their primary health care provider. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.
Agencies have been the target of frequent criticism for their responses pandemic on an evolving variety of frequently politicized topics, including testing guidelines, test accessibility, vaccines, masks, school safety and more.
The survey also found that 68% of participants believed Dr Anthony S. Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease specialist, had provided reliable advice on the pandemic. Dr Fauci has come under repeated attacks from conservative media figures like Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson of Fox News.
In the survey, respondents who relied on conservative media were found to have a lower level of trust in health agencies and Dr. Fauci. Only 38% of consumers in what the survey called “very conservative media”, for example, said they trusted Dr Fauci, compared to 84% of consumers in “mainstream newspaper” media.
The data comes as the U.S. vaccination rate stagnates and the country grapples with an increasing number of cases, especially in states with fewer residents vaccinated. At the same time, the highly infectious Delta variant is spreading.
The survey also found that confidence in the safety and effectiveness of vaccines remained high, with 78% of respondents feeling “definitely or probably” that they were effective in preventing Covid-19.