The BDN Opinion section operates independently and does not set newsroom policies or contribute to reporting or editing articles elsewhere in the newspaper or on bangordailynews.com. Stacy Torres is an assistant professor of sociology in the department of social and behavioral sciences at UC San Francisco. Andrew Penn is a psychiatric nurse practitioner at San Francisco VA Medical Center and an associate clinical professor at UC San Francisco. Despite widespread distrust in American institutions, trust in nurses remains high — and could serve as a powerful tool in the fight against COVID-19, which poses the greatest health threat in a century. For 18 years in a row, Americans have rated the honesty and ethics of nurses highest among a list of professions in an annual Gallup Poll.

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