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Restoring Trust and Confidence in Public Health

February 18, 2021

As COVID-19 spread across the country, public health officials became key spokespeople for simple prevention measures such as hand washing, mask-wearing, and social distancing. However, these actions were met with resistance from those who felt their individual freedoms and liberties were being challenged. Misinformation and conspiracy theories led to beliefs that the virus was a hoax and prevention measures were unnecessary. Efforts to limit public health authority resulted in reduced confidence from the public and an inability for public health officials to lead.

Our experts on this podcast episode explore what public health officials can do to build back public confidence in our public health infrastructure, and offer lessons that work. Our experts will discuss how and why this has happened, and how we can remedy this as we enter into COVID-19 recovery and the largest vaccination campaign in decades.

Show Notes


  • Ngozi Ezike, MD, Director, Illinois Department of Public Health
  • David Sundwall, MD, Executive Director of the Utah Department of Health from 2005-2011
    ASTHO President, 2007-2008