Wait … before you jump on this opinion piece in USA Today, note that the tweet linking to it does not properly describe the article. James Davis argues that the reason people don’t trust their public health officials is because of a massive communication problem. Dr. Anthony Fauci says one thing, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky says something contradictory, and none of it lines up with what the WHO is saying.

Davis notes that, according to the Washington Post, Walensky has sought professional communications coaching. Is she still seeking it? Because if she’s found it, it doesn’t show. Davis writes:

Americans don’t trust their public health experts, a serious problem in the best of times but downright dangerous amid a pandemic. Just 44% of Americans trust in the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, while only 40% trust Dr. Anthony Fauci (the nation’s point man on all things COVID) according to an NBC News survey conducted this month. Trust in politicians is even lower.

Poor communication is a problem that has spanned both the Trump and Biden administrations, as well as authorities in red, blue and purple states. Public health officials went from “masks do not work for the general public” (former Surgeon General Jerome Adams) to “we have clear scientific evidence they (masks) work, and they are our best defense” (former CDC Director Robert Redfield) back to “a single-layer cloth mask just isn’t cutting it” (Adams). This kind of shifting advice has made protecting public health and safety more difficult, leading people to turn to armchair immunologists for answers.

They still can’t get the message straight about masks. Look at President Biden, who just today took off his mask and inexplicably handed it to Justice Stephen Breyer. Biden wears a mask at the beach to walk his new puppy but was caught without one at a Nantucket bookstore.

That’s what the piece argues; as we said, the tweet is misleading.

Telling people it was OK to go to massive Black Lives Matter protests because “racism is a public health issue” really was the breaking point for a lot of people.

Davis also makes the suggestion not to demonize people: “A better approach is to be empathetic, data-driven and educational – not bullying or condescending.” Good advice.


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