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.
Nicholas Christakis is a sociologist and physician who conducts research in the areas of social networks and biosocial science at Yale University and the author of “Apollo’s Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live.”
E. Oscar Alleyne began his career as an epidemiologist working in public health and is now chief of programs and services for the National Association of County and City Health Officials.
To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.
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