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New survey from YouGov and Americans for Prosperity reveals reduced trust in public leaders over handling of public health policies.
Today, approaching the 2nd anniversary of the start of the pandemic, YouGov and Americans for Prosperity released new research showing high concern among Americans over the state of their civil liberties and their trust in public leaders.
Casey Mattox, Americans for Prosperity’s vice president for legal and judicial strategy, had this to say about the results:
“Civil liberties and COVID response never should have been in conflict. But two years into this pandemic, Americans feel their rights are less secure. And the result is decreased confidence in public officials themselves. Government leaders can learn from this experience. They need public confidence to combat public health challenges, but that trust erodes when Americans perceive them as ignoring reasonable concerns about their basic rights.”
For much of the country, March 2020 marked the start of COVID. Public officials at every level of government began to consider and enact policies intended to mitigate its spread — requiring people to make personal sacrifices for the greater good of public health.
Early, targeted, and time-limited action can save lives and justify exercising extraordinary powers while people race to understand an emerging threat. But misusing or abusing those powers risks diminishing public confidence rather than building it. And reduced trust in our institutions makes it harder to galvanize public response when we face another threat.
The new poll shows:
More than half of Americans say government should largely or entirely avoid banning misinformation online.
This leaves only 30 percent who said the government should ban misinformation and another 15 percent who said something else should be done.
Free speech is not only a fundamental right, it also empowers progress. Without free speech and free association, many of the greatest movements in history — and even technological advances that improved the lives of billions — could not have occurred.
Mattox added, “Protecting these freedoms in law is not enough if those who would exercise them do not believe their right to do so is secure.” That’s why AFP works to make it easier for all Americans to raise their voices and to promote a free and open society.
Read the full research memo.
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