This article argues that a culture of trust stemming from both political leaders and lay public members is necessary for effective public health practices amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the influx of misleading and inaccurate information, some even from political leaders, celebrities, and local health officials, individuals are struggling with knowing what and who to trust. It is imperative that messages be not only accurate but also consistent and widespread. Because trust in science is still fairly high relative to other institutions, it is important to communicate recommended public health measures grounded in the best available science, even if it is incomplete and changing. Transparency about conclusions and limits of knowledge are also essential for gaining trust and persuading people to believe the information presented.