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Not Always Trusted

A new poll finds that many US adults mistrust public health institutions, the Hill reports.

The poll, conducted for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, asked 1,305 US adults their views of federal health agencies.

Overall, 52 percent of respondents said they had great deal or quite a lot of trust in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while 37 percent had that level of trust in Food and Drug Administration or the National Institutes of Health. By comparison, 56 percent of respondents said they had great deal or quite a lot of trust in the American Cancer Society and 48 percent in the American Red Cross.

More respondents trusted healthcare workers they knew — 70 percent of respondents said they had great deal or quite a lot of trust in such individuals.

"We're in a period of distrust of government in general," Harvard's Robert Blendon, who oversaw the survey, tells NPR. "If we substituted the FBI for the CDC, it would not do a lot better."

Still, NPR notes that the results are not unexpected, as the past year has seen mixed messaging from health agencies on the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Scan

Not as High as Hoped

The Associated Press says initial results from a trial of CureVac's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine suggests low effectiveness in preventing COVID-19.

Finding Freshwater DNA

A new research project plans to use eDNA sampling to analyze freshwater rivers across the world, the Guardian reports.

Rise in Payments

Kaiser Health News investigates the rise of payments made by medical device companies to surgeons that could be in violation of anti-kickback laws.

Nature Papers Present Ginkgo Biloba Genome Assembly, Collection of Polygenic Indexes, More

In Nature this week: a nearly complete Ginkgo biloba genome assembly, polygenic indexes for dozens of phenotypes, and more.