This study demonstrates the government’s influence in affecting individual behavior change during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Government leadership and communication are vital during a public health crisis. This study illustrated how government recommendations can affect the speed of adoption of protective behaviors during a crisis. Specifically during the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals were more likely to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) mask-wearing recommendations if they trusted the CDC and infectious disease experts. Thus, it is important for governmental agencies to build rapport with the public so that they will follow the recommendations communicated. Official recommendations from government agencies during times of crisis can have large and immediate effects on public health behaviors.