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Americans rank members of Congress with car salesmen as least ethical professionals; nurses top the list



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A new survey from Gallup posted Wednesday revealed that medical professionals are seeing significant boosts in their reputations during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Members of Congress haven't been so lucky. In a divisive election year plagued by ongoing coronavirus restrictions, U.S. legislators now rank dead last on ethical ratings — tied with car salesmen.

Who did the best?

The new Gallup poll found that when asked to rank the honesty and ethical standards of various professions, nurses come in No. 1 with 89% of Americans rating them as having "very high" or "high" ethics. That's a 4-point jump from last year.

Medical doctors saw the biggest year-to-year jump, moving up 12 points from 65% in 2019 to 77% in 2020.

Grade-school teachers — who have been hailed as heroes by many parents as they work to educate students remotely, in person, or via "hybrid" of the two — came in third, with a 75% rating. It's the profession's highest-ever rating and the first time teachers topped 70% since 2007.

Rounding out the top five were pharmacists at 71% (a 7-point boost over last year) and police officers at 52% — down only 2 points from 2019. Cops' impressive showing on the list comes despite a year of anti-police protests and riots, and calls for cities to "defund the police."

Who stunk it up?

Journalists were among the lower-ranked professions on the ethical rankings with 28%. But lawyers did even worse, nailing only a 21% ethical ranking.

But it is possible to do worse than lawyers — and members of Congress showed how it's done, beating perennial bottom dwellers business executives (17%), advertising practitioners (10%), and car salespeople (8%) at their own game.

Congressmen tied car salesmen for the bottom spot at 8% by having the biggest drop of all professions, losing 4 points year to year. And last year's 12% ranking had been a high point for our elected officials.

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