Former National Institutes of Health director Dr. Francis Collins said recently that his biggest mistake during the COVID-19 pandemic was failing to communicate to the public how the government's recommendations on everything from masking to vaccinations were subject to change constantly.
“The big thing that I know I didn’t do, and I don’t think a lot of the communicators did, was to say, ‘This is an evolving crisis. This is going to change,' every time we made a recommendation, whether it was about social distancing or mask wearing or vaccines,” Collins said on Sept. 16 at a gathering for the 21st Health Coverage Fellowship hosted by Babson College in Wellesley, Mass. “And we lost their confidence as a result of that.”
Collins, who now serves as a science adviser to the White House, suggested to journalists that a new government agency may be required to improve communications and fight “misinformation,” according to the health news website STAT, which provided excerpts of his remarks.