Global Public Loses Confidence In Institutions During The Pandemic – An Ipsos Study


A follow-up study conducted by IPSOS over the past year aims to show who gained and lost favor with the public in the course of the Covid crisis.


Washington, DC, March 5, 2021 – Nearly a year after the World Health Organization declared the spread of the novel coronavirus a pandemic, Ipsos has found that people from six of eight major countries are less confident in their government’s ability to deal with COVID-19 than last year.

Global health officials and the media also took a hit in this arena. Majorities in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States expect that, in the long term, people will question global health authorities. On average, about three in ten adults surveyed across the eight countries believe the media exaggerates the extent of the COVID-19 outbreak, as was the case a year ago.

Doctors and local healthcare workers remain the one group that tends to be more trusted now than at the beginning of the crisis.

National governments did not meet expectations

In the countries studied previously, their confidence towards the ability of their government to effectively control the coronavirus has decreased. The only exception is Australia where confidence in the government’s COVID – 19 response is higher than it was a year ago by a 54%

In the following chart, we can interpret that as in Australia and Germany, people are confident that their government can handle the pandemic. Nevertheless, Japan, The United Kingdom, The United States and France have dropped that confidence in their national government.

The pandemic has impacted trust in global health authorities. 73% in France to 51% in Russia say they are likely to think global public health authorities will be questioned in the long term.

Doctors and healthcare care gain trust

Based on the eight countries surveyed by Ipsos, most people are confident that local healthcare professionals can handle COVID- 19.

Australia, Canada, The U.S and The UK are the countries whose residents have the most confidence in their healthcare staff, followed by Germany, France, Japan and Russia.

However, Japan is the only country where confidence is lower than a year ago.

Belief that the media exaggerates the extent of the COVID-19 outbreak

A minority of adults surveyed in every country think the media distorted the scope of the COVID-19 outbreak. On average, about three in ten across the eight countries believe the media exaggerates the extent of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The belief that media coverage of the pandemic is exaggerated has grown in two countries, Japan (+8 percentage points) and the United States (+7)

It has decreased in Russia by -18, Germany with -6, and the United Kingdom -4 but it is statistically unchanged in Canada (-2), Australia (-2), and France (+3).

Read the full study here.

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