June 9, 2021 – Confidence in the CDC and the FDA has dramatically declined during the COVID-19 pandemic among healthcare professionals, according to a new WebMD / Medscape survey.
Of nearly 2,000 U.S. nurses surveyed on Medscape (WebMD’s sister site for medical professionals) between May 25 and June 3, 77% said their confidence in the CDC had declined since the start of the pandemic. , and 51% said their confidence in the FDA has declined. Likewise, of nearly 450 U.S. physicians surveyed over the same period, 77% said their confidence in the CDC had declined and 48% said their confidence in the FDA had declined.
Health professionals have criticized the decisions of these agencies during the pandemic, with some fearing their work may be politicized.
“I don’t question, doubt or disagree with the agency’s mission (s),” one nurse wrote in a comment on the Medscape poll. “I am putting off (over the past 2 years) the question of the extent to which the leaders of these institutions are able to implement science-based, public health-oriented recommendations and practices without political influence or bias. “
Fewer WebMD readers said their trust in agencies took a hit during the pandemic. Of nearly 2,200 U.S. WebMD readers surveyed between May 26 and June 1, 44% said their confidence in the CDC had declined during the pandemic, and 33% said their confidence in the FDA had declined.
Doctors and nurses reported relatively lower trust in the CDC than WebMD readers. Among doctors, 31% said they trusted the CDC in general, compared to 25% of nurses and 45% of WebMD readers. The FDA didn’t do much better: 37% of doctors, 27% of nurses, and 41% of WebMD readers said they trust the FDA in general.
In addition to a lack of confidence, many medical professionals have said they disagree with the CDC and FDA’s actions on COVID-19. About half of doctors and nurses said they disagreed with the FDA’s overall decision-making during the pandemic, compared to 36% of WebMD readers. Almost 60% of doctors and 65% of nurses said they did not agree with the CDC’s general guidelines on the pandemic, while 39% of WebMD readers did.
Last month’s CDC guidelines that fully immunized people do not need to wear masks or social distancing is a prime example of where medical professionals disagree with official guidelines.
“The CDC’s new masking guidelines are for communities that have high vaccination rates and those for whom masking was a burden,” tweeted pediatrician Rhea Boyd, MD. “In communities where most people are ‘still waiting to see’ or do not have access to the vaccine, masking is still essential for EVERYBODY. “
“They switch to masks daily and which vaccine is safe,” a doctor commented on the CDC and the FDA in the Medscape poll. “Unfortunately, I don’t feel at all that I can trust them anymore.”