Document Type


Publication Date





Adherence to science in health messaging and public policies helped determine which countries have performed well in containing COVID-19. In the United States, President Trump has interfered with and undermined the work of scientific agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, generating public distrust in science and amplifying fears about a future vaccine’s safety and effectiveness. He has also announced that the United States will not join a global partnership that aims to support the development of a vaccine and share access to it.

Science does not always tell us what we want to hear. But we won’t exit this pandemic without political leaders backing sound science.

Publication Citation

Science, Leadership, and Public Trust in the COVID-19 Pandemic. Milbank Quarterly Opinion. September 28, 2020.