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How public health officials can make the truth heard in a ‘post-fact’ world

As reports of fake news ― real or perceived ― and “alternative facts” become more common, so does Americans’ distrust in public officials and institutions.

Respondents to an Edelman survey conducted last year, for example, said they would consider the view of a “person like me” twice as credible as that of a government leader. The public’s trust in businesses, the government, nongovernmental organizations and the media have all declined, the survey found.

Public health officials appear to be feeling the effects of this, with many saying it has become more difficult to get Americans to believe crucial data and research.

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