WaPo/ABC Poll: Increasing Number of Americans Disapprove of Trump’s Coronavirus Response

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 13: U.S. President Donald Trump listens during an event about citizens positively impacted by law enforcement, in the East Room of the White House on July 13, 2020 in Washington, DC. The president highlighted life-saving actions by law enforcement officers and cited these examples as a …
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The number of Americans who disapprove of the president’s response to the Chinese coronavirus is rising, according to a Washington Post/ABC poll released Friday.

“Do you approve or disapprove of the way President Trump is handling the coronavirus outbreak?” the survey asked. The majority, or 60 percent, indicated that they either strongly or somewhat disapprove — up from 53 percent who said the same in May. Only 38 percent expressed approval of Trump’s response, down from the slight majority approval, 51 percent, he saw in March, at the beginning of the pandemic.

Trump and Republican governors, particularly, have emphasized the importance of reopening the economy after the coronavirus lockdowns shuttered businesses, resulting in millions of jobless claims. However, respondents tend to believe that it is more important to “control the spread of the coronavirus, even if it hurts the economy” rather than “trying to restart the economy, even if it hurts efforts to control the spread of the virus.”

“What do you think is more important,” the survey asked, giving respondents those two options. A majority, 63 percent, said it is more important to control the spread of the virus, up from 57 percent in May. One-third of respondents, or 33 percent, chose the economy, down from 37 percent in May.

Americans were also asked about their mask habits, with a majority, or 57 percent, indicating that they wear one “all of the time” when they are around others outside of their home. Another 23 percent said they wear one “most of the time,” and five percent said “a good amount of time.” Ten percent said they wear a mask “some of the time,” and only five percent said they “never” wear one.

Masking habits appear to coincide with increasing worries over contracting the virus. Sixty-six percent now say they are either “very” or “somewhat” worried that they or someone in their immediate family may catch the virus — up from 63 percent in May.

The survey also found that the majority of respondents distrust what the president says about the coronavirus pandemic, 64 percent to the 34 percent who indicated that they trust the president.

The survey was fielded July 12-15 among 1,006 U.S. adults. Self-described independents made up 39 percent of respondents, followed 30 percent who identified as Democrat, and 24 percent who identified as Republican.

The margin of error is +/- 3.5 percent.

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