After an initial public confidence boost at the start of the Covid outbreak, Americans’ trust in scientists, public figures, journalists, school principals, religious leaders and others has plummeted to below pre-pandemic levels.

These findings come from a Pew Research study, released Feb. 15, and conducted Nov. 30 to Dec. 12, 2021. Nearly 14,500 U.S. adults were surveyed, just as the omicron variant was detected.

The Pew findings parallels other recent studies that show rapidly declining ratings for how President Joe Biden has handled the coronavirus outbreak as well as lower ratings for his job performance – and that of Congress – in general.

Overall, only 29% of American adults claim to have “a great deal of confidence” in medical scientists to act in the best interests of the public, down from 40% who said this in November 2020, the Pew report notes. “Similarly, the share with a great deal of confidence in scientists to act in the public’s best interests is down by 10 percentage points (from 39% to 29%).”

Scientists aren’t the only ones to suffer in the public’s estimation. Americans are less confident in the military to act in their best interests, with this institution falling 14 points, from 39% in November 2020 to 25% in the current survey. Likewise, Americans with a “great deal of confidence” in K-12 public school principals and police officers have also decreased (by 7 and 6 points, respectively).

Majorities of Americans expressed at least a “fair amount of confidence” in medical scientists (78%), scientists (77%), the military (74%), police officers (69%) and religious leaders (55%) to act in the public’s best interests, but all of these percentages have dropped.

Approval is particularly low, however, when it comes to Americans that have a “great deal or fair amount of confidence” in journalists (40%) or elected officials (24%). More than 60% say they have “not too much” or “no confidence at all” in these two groups.

Read the full report here.

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U.S. trust in medical scientists, journalists and other figures plummets

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • John j otness says:

    They all joined the worlds oldest profession.

  • Jeff says:

    98% of scientists agree….with whoever is paying them.

  • Jen says:

    That is good. Eliminate the competition to trust in our God and his Word that outlives us all. We should not be putting our trust in things and people who can’t tell what happens tomorrow nor control the weather nor render true judgements, except God