Why don’t Americans trust public health agencies?

A woman puts a needle in a vial
U.S. Public Health Service Cmdr. Deanne Udby prepares a COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 15 at White Earth Health Center in Ogema, Minn.
Monika Lawrence for MPR News 2020

Public health officials are exhausted.

According to ongoing investigations by The Associated Press and Kaiser Health News, state and local health departments have been underfunded for decades. Despite that, public health officials have been on the front lines in a pandemic for almost a year. They’ve worked tirelessly, advised policy makers through every scientific development — and for their effort, they’ve been subjected to name-calling, threats and abuse.

Why don’t Americans trust the officials who study pandemics for a living? Is it our divided era? Or is something else going on in our collective psyche? Wednesday, MPR News host Kerri Miller spoke with two people who study how the public perceives public health. 


To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.

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