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The pandemic has eroded Americans’ trust in experts and elected leaders alike, a survey finds.-EnglishHindiBlogs-News

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As the coronavirus pandemic entered its third year, the American public had lost much of its trust in both public health experts and government leaders, and was less concerned than before about Covid-19, according to a survey released in early May and released Thursday by the Pew Research Center

reliability ratings for public health officials, such as those from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; for state and local elected officials; and for President Biden, it fell from 43 percent to 54 percent in the survey — much lower than during the early stages of the pandemic.

The survey found a large partisan gap in attitudes. Overall, 52 percent of respondents said public health officials had done an excellent or good job in managing the pandemic. But while 72 percent of Democrats in the poll said they felt this way, only 29 percent of Republicans did.

Democrats were also more likely than Republicans — 67 percent to 51 percent — to say they had at least some confidence in how prepared the country’s health care system was to handle a future global health emergency.

dr. Yvonne Maldonado, an infectious disease pediatrician at Stanford Medicine and chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ infectious diseases committee, said the pandemic has only increased partisan divisions in the country over these issues.

“I think the distrust in government and politicians, and even to some degree science, started long before the pandemic and only got worse,” said Dr. maldonado.

Pandemic fatigue and a growing idea that Covid is now a part of everyday life likely played a role in the changing public attitudes identified in the Pew survey, according to Dr. Robert Wachter, a professor and chair of the department of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

“I think people’s thinking is greatly influenced by the fact that the chances of dying from Covid have decreased significantly on a case-by-case basis,” said Dr. watchman.

Public confidence in medical centers and hospitals remained high: eight in 10 respondents said those institutions continued to manage the pandemic well, a small drop from 88 percent two years ago.

The survey found that Americans are less concerned about getting the virus or inadvertently spreading it to others. Most respondents said they thought the worst of the pandemic was over, and only about a quarter saw the coronavirus as a significant threat to their personal health, up from 30 percent in January.

The average number of new confirmed cases reported daily in the United States soared to record highs in January, driven by the Omicron variant. The increase quickly slowed down when the winter ended, but the average started to rise again in the spring. In the past few weeks since the survey was conducted, the number of new confirmed cases has been around 100,000 a day, according to a New York Times database.

However, those numbers are thought to underestimate the true number of infections, due to the increasing reliance on home testing, the closure of mass testing sites and reduced frequency of data reporting by states. The number of new deaths has fallen significantly since the winter wave and Covid now kills fewer than 400 people in the United States every day.

While many people are still getting infected, survey data shows that public concern about the virus has decreased significantly. The Pew survey found that 76 percent of respondents in May thought the worst of the pandemic was over, compared with about half in January.

“That’s the first time during the entire outbreak that a majority of Americans have said this,” said Alec Tyson, associate director of research at the Pew Research Center and lead author of the study.

A slim majority of respondents in the latest survey – 55 percent – said they thought vaccination had been somewhat or very effective in curbing the spread of the coronavirus. About half thought so about wearing masks indoors. Respondents were more skeptical about the efficacy of people staying at least six feet apart indoors, and only 34 percent found the practice to be at least somewhat effective.

The survey found very large partisan gaps in attitudes toward all those preventive measures, especially mask-wearing, with Republicans far more likely than Democrats to say they were doing little or nothing good.

The poll included 10,282 adults who were surveyed online between May 2 and May 8.


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