During a health crisis like the COVID-19 outbreak, people seek honest and accurate information...
The results of IntelliSurvey’s March 27, 2020 survey among a representative sample of 1,025 adults in the U.S. reveal that overall, most Americans have high levels of trust that health organizations and health, local, and state government officials are providing them with honest and accurate information about the COVID-19 pandemic. But digging into the data uncovers large differences in trust based on political party affiliation.
The online survey participants were shown the names and images of a number of individuals and organizations and were asked to “swipe” each image to the right to indicate trust and to the left to indicate distrust.
Among all participants, the top trusted information sources are:
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
- The World Health Organization (WHO)
- Dr. Anthony Fauci, NIAID Director, member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, and frequent participant in the daily press briefings
- Mayor or municipal executive
- Participants’ state governors
- Dr. Deborah Birx, response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force
A Political Divide
When results are examined by participants’ self-identified political party affiliation, however, pointed differences emerge:
Among Democrats: The WHO, CDC, NIAID, Dr. Fauci and state governors are also top sources; however, presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, anchor of NBC Nightly News Lester Holt, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi are also highly trusted sources of honest and accurate information about the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among Republicans: The CDC and NIAID are highly trusted sources, but so are President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, along with Fox News commentators such as Chris Wallace, Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson.
Note: Trust among “Others,” i.e., those that self-identify as Independent, Libertarian, no political party, or something else, are not displayed but closely mirror the overall results.
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