Trust in public health officials and the information they provide is essential for the public uptake of preventative strategies to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. This paper discusses how a model for developing and maintaining trust in public health officials during food safety incidents and scandals might be applied to pandemic management. The model identifies ten strategies to be considered, including: transparency; development of protocols and procedures; credibility; proactivity; putting the public first; collaborating with stakeholders; consistency; education of stakeholders and the public; building your reputation; and keeping your promises. While pandemic management differs insofar as the responsibility lies with the public rather than identifiable regulatory bodies, and governments must weigh competing risks in creating policy, we conclude that many of the strategies identified in our trust model can be successfully applied to the maintenance of trust in public health officials prior to, during, and after pandemics.
- pandemic management
- risk communication