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Editorial

When People Do Not Trust Their Leaders

Question: Do you trust the information the authorities are giving you about the coronavirus epidemic that is currently plaguing the whole world?

If the answer is no, which is most likely, then you are not alone. You have a lot of friends.

It is extremely important for political leaders to have the confidence of their peoples. When things are calm, it doesn’t matter much whether or not they are believed.

But when there is a crisis, then credibility is essential.

As in this period, the lack of trust in political leadership makes the situation much worse.

The coronavirus epidemic is known to have serious dimensions. Outbreaks appear to be increasing geometrically and the epidemic is spreading from country to country.

Stock markets fell sharply last week amid fears that the epidemic will affect the economy.

China’s leadership, where the epidemic began, is strongly criticized for allowing precious time to be lost in trying to hide it.

Airlines are canceling flights and the main hubs of various cities look abandoned because people are avoiding crowded places. A top Iranian health official has been infected.

Heads of State and other health officials assure us that they have taken all necessary measures and that we have no reason to worry. But what does that mean? How believable is it? What measures did they take? Is there a way to treat the virus?

And if not, when do they estimate that there will be?

President Donald Trump has repeatedly assured us that he has taken all measures and not to worry.

But based on our experience so far, how can we trust him?

The White House has asked for $1.25 billion to tackle the virus, but Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader, has asked for that amount to be raised to $8.5 billion.

The President attacked the media:

“Low Ratings Fake News MSDNC (Comcast) & @CNN are doing everything possible to make the Caronavirus look as bad as possible, including panicking markets, if possible,” adding that the “CDC and my Administration are doing a GREAT job of dealing with Coronavirus.”

Truth?

Each of us is justified in contesting the information we receive. As a result, we are on the verge of panic.

That’s why credibility in public life is so important.

And it has been clear for a long time that a time would come when it will be absolutely necessary.

Like now.

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