Every institution is responding to the coronavirus pandemic, from private sector companies to local governments. In the eyes of the American public, however, some are doing better than others.

A new Gallup poll reports that out of nine sectors in the U.S., including hospitals, state governments, the federal government, child care facilities and schools, employers, the media and Congress, only the news media received negative ratings on its handling of the response to the coronavirus. 


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U.S. hospitals received the highest approval ratings regarding their handling of the coronavirus response, with 88 percent of respondents giving their conduct positive ratings. 

Following in second and third place are child care facilities and schools and state governments (tied with employers), boasting 83 percent and 82 percent approval ratings, respectively. 

Conversely, the media only saw a 44 percent approval rating, and a majority 55 percent disapproval rating. Leaders in the federal government posted higher approval scores than news organizations, with Vice President Mike Pence, the leader of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, seeing 61 percent approval and 32 percent disapproval ratings. President Trump trailed closely with 60 percent approval and 38 percent disapproval reviews.

Gallup notes that trusting hospitals and health care workers is a trend usually seen during times without a global crisis. News and media organizations may be receiving negative reviews due to the anxiety associated with the constant stream of information available to individuals through smartphones and television.

In the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Mental Health Consideration information packet, officials note that “A near-constant stream of news reports about an outbreak can cause anyone to feel anxious or distressed,” regarding both isolated individuals in self-quarantine and the general population. 

To stay mentally healthy, the WHO encourages seeking “information updates and practical guidance at specific times during the day” from health authorities to best distinguish rumors from facts.  

Similarly, when speaking with The New York Times, Dr. Amy Cirbus, the director of clinical content for the online therapy platform Talkspace, recommends limiting the media people consume as a way to control anxiety surrounding the coronavirus. 

It’s really hard to discern whether a news report is something you need to know to take action,” she says. Cirbus recommends turning notifications off and checking the news at specific times during the day.

This poll was conducted from March 13-22, with a random sample of 1,020 adults across the U.S. The margin of error is +/-4 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence interval. 


Published on Mar 26, 2020