Leaders, be honest about what you know and don’t know. Transparency builds trust.

In a crisis, people need to be told both what is known — and what is unknown. “Because then, when the knowledge changes, it’s not a surprise and it doesn’t feel like it’s a reversal or … something fishy going on.”
That’s why we need to hear from the doctors and scientists, continues Dr. Marc Lipsitch, professor of epidemiology at Harvard University and an expert on immunology and infectious diseases. “Politicians don’t like saying what they don’t know.”

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, often declines to give a firm answer about timing and instead says, “We’re following the data.”