Mexicans experience four live briefings by the central government every day. These briefings often deliver messages defending the government’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis, denouncing political opposition, criticizing international institutions like the Inter-American Development Bank and calling out journalists and business people who question the government’s response. Despite all this airtime and a 12-point rise in government trust in the past three months, the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer Spring Update: Trust and the Covid-19 Pandemic reveals a clear gap in trust among which sources Mexicans trust to tell the truth about the pandemic. Government officials (51 percent), the President (54 percent) and journalists (55 percent) score low, while scientists (91 percent), “your doctor” (87 percent), World Health Organization officials (83 percent), the CEO of your company (76 percent) and national health officials (72 percent) have emerged so far as more credible figures.
We are learning that an increased media exposure for the government during the Covid-19 crisis has not translated to increased credibility. As we are about to experience Mexico’s contagion peak, people are turning to their employers (67 percent) as a source of reliable information. There is more trust in global health authorities (62 percent) and scientists (57 percent) to develop new policies for the future than in government (40 percent).
Fifty-six percent of respondents agreed that they see their employer, rather than the government (33 percent), as doing an outstanding job contending with the viral outbreak, the second-largest gap in observed preparedness of the 11 countries included in the Spring Update. This does not come as a shock, as we’ve seen corporations in Mexico stepping up their game: sending workers home to curb the spread of the virus long before the government recommended it, providing paid leave (even in cases when it’s not mandatory by law), organizing and redirecting their production to solve the country’s most urgent health needs and actively pooling technology solutions and capital to help the government in its response. Businesses and their leaders’ actions are consistent with the general public’s expectations.
Trust in business and science is keeping Mexico hopeful. Half of respondents say that once the virus is under control, they trust business leaders and CEOs (50 percent) to lead the work of rebuilding the economy, making it the only country in this report that trusts the private sector to pick up the pieces more than their central (45 percent) or local governments (34 percent).
Mexico has a history of recovering from crises, but this one has some unprecedented features, including a central government unwilling to collaborate with or disapproving of the private sector. Fortunately, Mexico is resilient and is used to rebuilding itself and bouncing back on its own terms. Mexicans remain optimistic, with 77 percent of respondents believing that the Covid-19 crisis will lead to innovation and changes for the better – the highest percentage of the 11 surveyed countries.
Mariana Sanz is General Manager of Edelman’s Mexico operations.
About The 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer Spring Update:
Trust and the Covid-19 Pandemic
The 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer Spring Update: Trust and the Covid-19 Pandemic is an update to the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer. The survey was conducted by Edelman Intelligence between April 15 and April 23, and sampled more than 13,200 respondents in 11 markets: Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, S. Korea, U.K. and U.S. 1,200 people were surveyed in each market, 100 of which were informed public. All informed public respondents met the following criteria: aged 25-64, college-educated; household income in the top quartile for their age in their country; read or watch business/news media at least several times a week; follow public policy issues in the news at least several times a week.
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