Doctors & clinicians, scientists, and the CDC were consistently trusted by most of our sample from March to December. In contrast, President Trump, the news media, and the American public were distrusted by the majority of our sample.
Trust in President-elect Biden was lower than the CDC, doctors & clinicians, and scientists. This finding was due to trust in professionals being more bipartisan.
Thus, these results provide a measure of hope—even in our increasingly polarized society, Americans still trust the experts when it comes to health recommendations .
Our piece in The Conversation discusses in more detail why this trust is so important. However, even doctors are not immune from spreading disinformation as discussed in our piece on the Why Social Science blog and sometimes may need help in providing accurate numeric information to patients and others; see our “4 tips to help you figure out tricky stats” in The Conversation.