It’s day 133 since the first case of coronavirus disease was announced in the United States. A second week of protests over the murder of George Floyd has begun; major cities still have curfews; and the National Guard, deployed to states to help with COVID-19, has been pulled away due to protests and violence.
In April, Edelman interviewed more than 13,000 people in 11 countries on issues related trust and COVID-19 (1,200 per market; Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, S. Korea, U.K. and U.S) .
They found that “government trust [had reached] an all-time high of 65 percent, making it the most trusted institution for the first time in our 20 years of study.”
The interviews also revealed that there was a “growing sense of unfairness” and “systemic inequity,” possibly triggered by COVID-19. This was particularly true in attitudes towards business: 62% believe business puts profits before people; 61% do not think businesses protect employee jobs; and 62% don’t think larger businesses are helping their small business supply chain.
When it comes to who should take the lead in deciding when it’s OK to return to work, guess which people landed near the bottom?
In the US, both Democrats and Republicans named local government their most trusted institution. For their number two choice, Democrats picked NGOs and Republicans picked business.
Trust in institutions is critical to managing the virus. Collective action is imperative to our being able to juggle competing interests while living with no vaccine and no cure.
What might those 1,200 Americans say about local and federal government, 6+ weeks later? How much trust in government has evaporated due to ongoing uncertainty over COVID-19 coupled with the manner in which these protests are being handled?
Current and former U.S. intelligence officials are comparing current events in the US with “the signs of decline or democratic regression they were trained to detect in other nations.”
Former intelligence officials said the unrest and the administration’s militaristic response are among many measures of decay they would flag if writing assessments about the United States for another country’s intelligence service.
They cited the country’s struggle to contain the novel coronavirus, the president’s attempt to pressure Ukraine for political favors, his attacks on the news media and the increasingly polarized political climate as other signs of dysfunction.
I would rather not be living in “interesting times” right now.
Thanks to Corey Gil for the tip about Edelman.