Researchers surveyed 1086 US adults to examine the factors shaping their beliefs regarding whether harassment or threats against public health officials was justified during the COVID-19 pandemic. The share of US adults surveyed who believed that harassing or threatening public health officials because of business closures was justified rose from 20% to 25% and 15% to 21%, respectively, from November 2020 to July and August 2021. Factors that influenced how US adults viewed public health officials in the time period studied included education level, income, political stance, and trust in science.
The study, published on July 29, 2022 in JAMA Network Open, demonstrates how the public health workforce has been weakened by increased attacks on public health officials during the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings suggest that restoring trust in public health officials will require tailored strategies and approaches.
JAMA Open Network – Invited Commentary (07/29/2022): Supporting the Public Health Workforce Requires Collective Actions to Address Harassment and Threats
Minnesota Star Tribune – Editorial (08/05/2022): No excuse to harass, threaten
Journal of Public Health Management and Practice Direct (08/22/2022): Obviously, You Should Never Read the Comments if the Story is about Public Health Harassment and Bullying. Unless…