Trump approval on handling of coronavirus hits new low: poll
President Trump’s approval rating for how he has responded to the coronavirus pandemic has dropped to its lowest level, according to a new poll that comes amid spiking cases nationwide and criticism of the president for suggesting COVID-19 testing should be slowed.
The latest Reuters-Ipsos poll, released Wednesday, found that only 37 percent of Americans approve of the way Trump has responded to the health crisis, the lowest percentage since the poll began asking the question in early March.
Of those surveyed, 58 percent of Americans responded that they disapproved of how Trump has reacted to the pandemic.
Trump sparked confusion over the weekend when he said during a rally that he asked staff to “slow down the testing, please.”
“Testing is a double-edged sword,” Trump said in Tulsa, Okla. “We’ve tested now 25 million people. It’s probably 20 million people more than anybody else. Germany’s done a lot. South Korea’s done a lot.”
The White House had said that his comments were meant as a joke, but Trump on Tuesday appeared to undermine his own officials’ explanation on the comments, saying he doesn’t “kid.”
“Let me make it clear. We have got the greatest testing program anywhere in the world. We test better than anybody in the world. Our tests are the best in the world and we have the most of them,” Trump said, adding that more tests allow the United States to detect more cases. “By having more cases it sounds bad, but actually what it is is finding more people.”
The U.S. has seen a spike in new coronavirus cases, a worrying sign for the country as a number of states move forward with plans to reopen their economies. The number of new cases nationally climbed above 30,000 per day over the weekend, after having leveled off at around 20,000 per day for weeks.
According to a database compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. has reported 2,347,102 confirmed cases and 121,225 deaths from COVID-19 as of Wednesday morning.
Senate Republicans have also warned that it is too soon to scale back testing, saying there’s no evidence the United States is ready to ease up on the number of daily tests until there is a vaccine.
According to the Reuters-Ipsos poll, even Republicans have reached low confidence in Trump’s administration. Just 43 percent of GOP voters said they thought the country was headed in the “right direction,” the lowest recorded level since Trump took office in January 2017.
The survey also found that former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, leads Trump by 10 points among registered voters. The number is a slight dip from a 13-point lead in a similar poll last week.
The Reuters-Ipsos poll was conducted online and polled 1,115 adults, including 503 Democrats and 408 Republicans, from June 22 to 23. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
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