(CNN)Americans have lacked trust in the federal government since the 1970s. From the late 1950s until the Watergate scandal, a majority of Americans said they trusted the federal government to do the right thing most of the time. But since then, it’s been a minority (with the exception of the period after the 9/11 attacks).
This lack of general trust is now hurting our Covid-19 vaccination effort. Trust in the government to give accurate information about the coronavirus is one of the most predictive variables over whether a person is vaccinated.
We can see how much trust matters in Axios/Ipsos polling. Their most recent poll shows that 17% of Americans have a great deal of trust in the federal government information to give accurate information about the virus. An additional 38% have a fair amount of trust.
This combined 56% (rounded) is close to the 59% of adults who are currently fully vaccinated against the virus.
Breaking it down further, we see that 91% of adults fully vaccinated have a great deal of trust in the federal government to give accurate information about the coronavirus. The percentage fully vaccinated drops to 78% among those who have a fair amount of trust, 57% among those who have not very much trust and 35% who have no trust at all.
It might be tempting to think that this trust factor is merely due to partisanship — one might think that because the federal government is run by Democrats currently, naturally Republicans might be mistrusting.
But when you drill down to trust in state governments (many of which are run by Republicans) to provide accurate coronavirus information, trust remains paramount.
A very high 86% of
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