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Confidence Boost

Confidence in medical researchers has grown among US adults since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new Pew Research Center poll.

Nearly 90 percent of US adults say they have a fair amount or a great deal of confidence that scientists will act in the best interests of the public and 66 percent say they have a mostly positive overall view of medical research scientists. The Pew Research Center surveyed 10,957 US adults at the end of April to the beginning of May and re-analyzed survey data from earlier in April of 10,139 US adults.

The Pew Research Center additionally notes that, in 2016, 24 percent of US adults said they had a great deal of confidence that medical scientists would act in the best interests of the public. In 2020, that number climbed to 43 percent. US adults also said they thought medical doctors held high ethical standards, according to the Pew survey. 

However, it uncovered differences by political affiliation. Confidence in medical scientists has grown among Democrats and individuals who lean Democrat — from 37 percent in 2019 to 53 percent in 2020 — but has remained the same among Republicans and individuals who lean Republican, at 32 to 31 percent, Pew adds.