Poll: Majority of Americans disapprove of Trump’s handling of coronavirus outbreak

A majority of American voters disapprove of President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak and believe he did not take the pandemic seriously enough at the beginning of the crisis, according to a new NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll

The survey found that 52 percent of voters disapprove of Trump’s response to the global outbreak, while 44 percent approve of it. The findings represent little change from a similar poll conducted in March, which found 51 percent of Americans opposed how he was handling the pandemic.

Meanwhile, 52 percent of respondents said they generally do not trust Trump’s rhetoric about the virus, while just 36 percent said they do. This pales in comparison to Americans’ trust of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert and a key member of the White House coronavirus task force. 

Sixty-nine percent of respondents said they generally trust what the CDC says about the outbreak, while 60 percent said they trust Fauci. Meanwhile, 66 percent said they generally trust what their governors have said when it comes to the coronavirus. 

An overwhelming majority of Americans — 65 percent — also said they believe that Trump did not take the coronavirus seriously enough when it first presented itself as a threat. Forty-five percent of those respondents said Trump is still not handling it well, while 20 percent said that his response has since become effective. 

The U.S. has confirmed more than 735,000 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and roughly 39,000 deaths caused by it, according to a Johns Hopkins University database

Trump has been criticized for initially downplaying the severity of the virus and predicting that it would disappear from the U.S. quickly. State officials have taken aim at the administration over shortages of testing and crucial medical equipment needed in hospitals. 

The president has, meanwhile, placed blamed on the World Health Organization and China for not being transparent enough during the early stages of the outbreak. He also has pushed back against criticism of the nation’s testing capabilities, claiming that its testing system is “by far the most robust and advanced” in the world.

Officials such as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) have repeatedly demanded that the administration take greater action to expand testing as some states move to relax social distancing guidelines.

Trump said last week that he would leave it to states to decide when to reopen portions of their economy. 

The new NBC News-Wall Street Journal survey found that voters are worried states may move too quickly. Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they’re more concerned about states loosening stay-at-home orders too quickly. Just 32 percent said they were more concerned about the U.S. moving too slowly to reopen businesses. 

The NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll was conducted between April 13 and April 15 among a sample of 900 registered voters. It has a margin of error of  3.3 percentage points.

Tags Andrew Cuomo Anthony Fauci Donald Trump

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