The now infamous year 2020 is finally ending. For those who have made it through, the last 365 days have changed much.
One year ago, no one could have guessed that 2020 would include government-imposed limits on church attendance, social distancing, isolating stay-at-home orders, closed movie theaters, restaurants and gyms, a deadly pandemic and a cratering world economy.
Heading into 2021, it is important to reflect on the monumental changes that have occurred in our society, especially the nosediving level of trust that Americans place in our most important institutions.
Here, I propose the top 10 institutions that Americans have lost faith in this year.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
In late 2019, the Pew Research Center conducted a poll that found the overwhelming majority of Americans had faith in the CDC. Eighty percent of Americans have a “favorable” opinion of the CDC while just 12% saw it “unfavorably.”
However, that was prior to a deadly pandemic sweeping the nation. It was before the CDC said facemasks didn’t protect against COVID-19, and then promptly reversed course with CDC Director Dr. Redfield saying they were more effective than a vaccine. And it was prior to a CDC panel recommending that frontline workers receive the vaccine before the elderly because of “racial equity,” despite the fact that the plan would have led to thousands of additional deaths due to COVID-19.
- Our Political Class
This year, America separated into two classes. The “normal” people who COVID-19 restrictions applied to, and the “special” elite class who were free to do as they pleased with no fear of any consequences.
Many politicians, some who were responsible for issuing COVID-19 restrictions, decided to tell the American people to do as they said, not do as they did.
California Governor Gavin Newsom eating in a restaurant, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi getting a blow-out and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot getting a haircut are just a few examples that come to mind.
- Local Government Officials
Just like national politicians, local government officials decided they didn’t want to abide by the very rules they decreed.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl voted to ban outdoor dining, saying, “Outdoor dining is probably more dangerous in terms of contagion than any other kind of business.” Yet, just a few hours later, she decided to go dine outdoors.
- The World Health Organization (WHO)
After failing to properly investigate COVID-19 and inform the world of the deadly disease, President Trump cut the United States’ $450 million annual contribution to the WHO in May.
Prior to cutting their funding, the president asked the WHO to take immediate action to reform itself after providing 17 ways it failed to properly respond to the emergence of the COVID-19 virus.
For example, On January 14, 2020, the WHO tweeted, “Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in Wuhan, China.”
- The New England Journal of Medicine
The New England Journal of Medicine is described in its Wikipedia page as “among the most prestigious peer-reviewed medical journals.”
But now, the journal cannot even tell the difference between boys and girls. A commentary published in their December issue said, “We believe it is now time to update the practice of designating sex on birth certificates.”
As The Daily Citizen previously wrote, “[The Journal] incorrectly contends ‘Designating sex as male or female on birth certificates suggests that sex is simple and binary, when, biologically, it is not.’ Biologically, it actually is simple. Male and female are the only two biological games in town for humanity.”
- Social Media Companies
Nearly everyone uses social media. But now, almost no one believes these big tech companies are politically neutral.
Following the publication of a New York Post article which alleged that Hunter Biden introduced his father, Joe Biden, to a Ukrainian businessman, which to-date has not been denied by anyone in the Biden family, Facebook and Twitter unilaterally took action to censor to article right before the 2020 General Election.
Facebook said that it would reduce distribution of the article, pending a fact-check, whereas Twitter prevented anyone from sharing the link to the article, and suspended The New York Post’s Twitter account for days. Was this an attack on the freedom of the press?
- The Commission on Presidential Debates
After President Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19, the Commission on Presidential Debates unilaterally decided that the second presidential debate would be virtual.
“President Trump will have posted multiple negative tests prior to the debate, so there is no need for this unilateral declaration,” the Trump campaign said in response.
Indeed, the commission had made the decision without input or consent from either presidential campaign.
There’s nothing like a debate commission that doesn’t want a real debate.
- Election Infrastructure
Nearly two months after the 2020 General Election, the Trump campaign has so far been unsuccessful in proving in front of a judge that widescale voter fraud impacted the results of the election.
Yet, according to a recent poll, nearly half of Americans believe that enough voter fraud occurred during the election for the results to have changed in Joe Biden favor.
Voting is the one way that Americans can regularly, civilly air their grievances with their fellow citizens. When half of the country no longer trusts the voting infrastructure, its a dangerous place to be.
- Big Media Companies
A study in August found that the “big three” evening mainstream news broadcasts, ABC, NBC and CBS covered President Trump 150 times more negatively than they did Joe Biden during the heat of the election.
Though most Americans knew their media was biased, this study provided even further proof. Maybe that’s why, as The Daily Citizen reported, a recent poll found “73% of Americans believe that media bias is a major problem, [and] 8 out of 10 think that ‘inaccuracies in reporting are intentional.’”
Americans love entertainment and television. In September, Netflix enjoyed a 68% favorability rating among all American adults, and a 64% rating among Republicans.
Just a few weeks later, those numbers had rapidly plummeted to 61% among all adults and just 43% among Republicans.
What happened? Netflix had released its movie “Cuties” which was seen by many as promoting pedophilia.
To summarize, many Americans lost faith in some of the biggest intuitions we have in just one year. Who knows what will happen next year, but we can all hope its not more of the same.
You can follow this author on Twitter @MettlerZachary
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