Americans split when rating federal government's response to pandemic: poll

Americans split when rating federal government's response to pandemic: poll
© Getty Images

Americans are split when rating the federal government’s response to the coronavirus crisis as the U.S. braces for a surge in cases in April, according to a new Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey.

The survey, released exclusively to The Hill, found that 48 percent of respondents said they rated the federal government’s response as "excellent" or "good."

Another 52 percent percent rated the federal government’s response as "fair" or "poor."


Meanwhile, Americans gave higher ratings to their local and state governments. Sixty-seven percent described their state government’s handling of the crisis as “excellent” or “good,” while 66 percent said the same about their local governments.

Another 33 percent said their state government’s handling of the situation was “fair” or “poor,” and 34 percent said the same about their local government.

The federal government has instituted a number of strategies aimed at combating the coronavirus’s spread. President TrumpDonald John TrumpFox News president, top anchors advised to quarantine after coronavirus exposure: report Six notable moments from Trump and Biden's '60 Minutes' interviews Biden on attacks on mental fitness: Trump thought '9/11 attack was 7/11 attack' MORE extended social distancing guidelines until the end of April on Sunday, days after he signed a $2 trillion stimulus package passed by Congress.

“Overall the public is worried about the worst and still optimistic about a recovery in a few months and are reserving judgment on all levels of government," Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll polling director Mark PennMark PennSwing-state polls suggest a narrowed path for Trump's reelection Exclusive poll: Biden up in Mich., Pa., tied with Trump in Fla. Biden holds 5-point lead over Trump in Pennsylvania: poll MORE said. "In terms of economic stimulus, the message is clear: do it all. Even spending $2 trillion gets support from eight in ten."

The president also invoked the Defense Production Act to enlist private companies to develop ventilators, masks, gowns and other equipment for first responders and doctors.


The Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved a sterilization system that has the capability of decontaminating desperately needed respirator masks up to 20 times. The measure was pushed by Trump and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R).

There were over 143,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S as of Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

A number of hot spots for the virus have emerged across the country, chiefly in the greater New York City area, New Orleans and Detroit.

State and local governments have worked with the federal government to implement a number of their strategies aimed at combating the spread.

Governors like DeWine, New York’s Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoNew York surpasses half a million COVID-19 cases This collection of top-rated entertainment apps is now on sale for over 0 off Senate Health Committee chair asks Cuomo, Newsom to 'stop second guessing' FDA on vaccine efficacy MORE (D), Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer (D), and Maryland’s Larry Hogan (R) have become the faces of their state's response, blanketing the airwaves with interviews and press conferences.

This survey was conducted online within the United States from March 24 to 26, 2020 among 2,410 registered voters by The Harris Poll. Results were weighted for age within gender, region, race/ethnicity, marital status, household size, income, employment, education, political party and political ideology where necessary to align them with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 2 percentage points.