Trust In Governments Increases During Pandemic, Says Report

by GoNews Desk 3 weeks ago Views 1109
Trust In Governments At Record High During Pandemi
A new global survey shows that the public is placing its faith increasingly in government to lead the fight against the coronavirus rather  than businesses, non-profits and media to protect them.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, government trust surged 11 points to an all-time high of 65%, making it the most trusted institution for the first time in the 20 years of study, according to consultancy Edelman’s Trust Barometer report released on Tuesday.

Also Read: State-Wise Break Up Of Coronavirus Cases And Deaths

Respondents want government out front in all areas of the pandemic response: to provide economic relief (86%), to get the country back to normal (79%), to contain COVID-19 (73%), and to inform the public (72%).

Nearly three in four feel pandemic-related restrictions on their freedom of movement are now entirely reasonable and appropriate.

“Faced with one of the biggest health and financial crises in history, people are turning to their governments for leadership and hope,” said Edelman CEO Richard Edelman. “The speed and scale of the lockdowns, the brave performance of the public health services and the extent of public expenditure to support the private sector have shown government taking quick decisive action. This is a stunning turnaround for government which has always languished at or near the bottom of the trust hierarchy,” he added.

Towards A New Normal

The survey found that over two-thirds of respondents (67%) want their governments to prioritise saving lives over saving jobs, even if it means the economy will sustain more damage and recover more slowly. And, 75% say CEOs should be cautious in getting their companies back to normal even if it means waiting longer to reopen workplaces.

Just one-third (33%) said: “It is becoming more important for the government to save jobs and restart the economy than to take every precaution possible to keep people safe from the virus.”

The report surveyed over 13,000 people in 11 countries including the US, UK, India and China.

The survey found that 78% of respondents in India are also willing to give up their health and location data with governments to help track and contain the virus. In China, 91% are most eager to do so. In February, China launched a “close contact detector” while India rolled out its Aarogya Setu app in April.

Despite a 4-point increase in trust in business and several high-profile actions taken by companies and CEOs to help those in need, there is marked disappointment in how the private sector has performed during the crisis. 

Less than one in three respondents believe that only 29% CEOs and business leaders are doing an "outstanding" job meeting the demands placed on them by the pandemic compared to scientists (53%) and national government leaders (47%).

National government leaders (53%) and scientists (52%) are also more trusted than CEOs and business leaders (34%) to develop new policies to be better prepared for a future crisis.

“Business has been drafting for the past three months as government has led the first leg of this race,” said Edelman. “Now it’s time for business to sprint to the front of the pack as the focus shifts to reopening the economy. This is a moment of reckoning for business and the promise of a stakeholder approach must now be delivered by filling their supply chains with small businesses and the retaining and reskilling of workers.”

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