Trust in government around the world hits a record high during coronavirus crisis, survey finds

National News

Trust in government globally is at an all-time high amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new survey. Up 11 points since January, 65% of more than 13,000 respondents around the world said they trusted their government institutions, the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer spring update says. 

That percentage made government the most trusted institution for the first time, ahead of businesses, non-profits and the media,  global communications firm Edelman said. All of the institutions saw record high trust indexes.

The survey, conducted between April 15 and April 23, sampled 1,200 people in 11 countries: Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, the U.K. and the U.S. 

Of the U.S. respondents, 46% said they trusted the federal government, while 66% said they had trust in local or state government. The U.S. had the largest gap between trust in federal and local governments, followed by Japan and France.

Globally, a large majority of respondents said they wanted government to lead in multiple areas of the pandemic response, including containing the pandemic, informing the public, getting their country back to normal and providing economic relief.

“Faced with one of the biggest health and financial crises in history, people are turning to their governments for leadership and hope,” said Richard Edelman, CEO of 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.”

Despite a slight increase in trust in businesses, half of respondents said they think businesses are doing poorly, mediocre or completely failing at putting people before profits during the crisis, the firm said.

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