Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Established institutions like the media and government are no longer seen as competent or ethical enough to address crises like climate change and health care, according to Edelman's 2020 Trust Barometer study. So businesses are leading the way.

Between the lines: The survey shows a stark class divide — a growing gap in institutional trust between wealthier, more educated and better informed people vs. the rest of the population.

For the first time, a record number of developed countries, including Australia, France, Germany and the UK, are experiencing double digit divides in trust between the informed class and the mass population.

Around the world, business is considered the most trusted institution. In the U.S., there are plenty of examples of business filling the void left by other institutions.

  • BlackRock CEO Larry Fink surprised Wall Street last week when he released his annual letter to CEOs and clients announcing that it would make sustainability its new standard for investing.
  • In August, 181 of the nation’s top CEOs agreed to embrace a new business model in which driving shareholder value is no longer their sole business objective. Rather, service to society, communities and employees would become a top priority.

Yes, but: Even though people around the world say they increasingly trust corporations to solve problems, they also say they don't trust capitalism.

  • 57% of people globally believe that capitalism as it exists today "does more harm than good in the world." The percentage of people who think capitalism is working for them is down year over year by 3%.

Declining trust in media also contributes to the trust gap between the informed public and the public at large, according to the survey.

  • 57% of people globally believe that the media they use is "contaminated with untrustworthy information." and the vast majority (76%) worry about false information or fake news being used as a weapon.

The bottom line: “We are living in a trust paradox,” said Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman in a press release. “Fears are stifling hope, as long-held assumptions about hard work leading to upward mobility are now invalid.”

Go deeper

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239 scientists call on WHO to recognize coronavirus as airborne

People walk at the boardwalk in Venice Beach. Photo: APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images

A group of 239 scientists in 32 countries are calling for the World Health Organization to revise its recommendations to account for airborne transmission as a significant factor in how the coronavirus spreads, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: The World Health Organization has said the virus mainly spreads via large respiratory droplets that fall to the ground once they've been discharged in coughs and sneezes. But the scientists say evidence shows the virus can spread from smaller particles that linger in air indoors.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 11,294,859 — Total deaths: 531,419 — Total recoveries — 6,078,552Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 2,839,917 — Total deaths: 129,676 — Total recoveries: 894,325 — Total tested: 34,858,427Map.
  3. States: Photos of America's pandemic July 4 ICU beds in Arizona hot spot near capacity.
  4. Public health: U.S. coronavirus infections hit record highs for 3 straight days.
  5. Politics: Trump extends PPP application deadlineKimberly Guilfoyle tests positive.
  6. World: Mexican leaders call for tighter border control as infections rise in U.S.
  7. Sports: 31 MLB players test positive as workouts resume.
  8. 1 📽 thing: Drive-in movie theaters are making a comeback.

Protesters toss Columbus statue into Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

Christopher Columbus statue in Columbus Piazza in Little Italy on April 9, 2015 in Baltimore. Photo: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Protesters in Baltimore on Saturday toppled a statue of Christopher Columbus and tossed it into the city's Inner Harbor, the Baltimore Sun reports.

Why it matters: It's the latest monument toppled by demonstrators during the protests against racism and police brutality. Statues of Confederate soldiers and slave owners have been a flashpoint in the protests.