According to a new poll, only 45% of voters said they trusted Trump to tell the truth about the novel coronavirus outbreak.
A majority of Americans do not trust President Trump to tell the truth about the novel coronavirus outbreak, according to a new poll from Navigator Research.
Only 45% of voters said they trusted Trump, while 53% said they distrusted him and 2% said they didn’t know. The online survey of 1,010 registered voters found that Americans are instead putting their trust in figures like Dr. Anthony Fauci and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Fauci, an infectious disease expert from the National Institute of Health, has earned the trust of 65% of Americans, while only 8% distrust him, making for a remarkable +57 point gap. Cuomo, meanwhile, has a +17 point gap, as 43% of voters trust him compared to the 26% that don’t.
Even Vice President Mike Pence scored higher than Trump, with a +2 spread.
The survey found that Americans are concerned by Trump’s failure to take responsibility for the crisis and his chaotic response to the pandemic that has infected nearly 235,000 Americans and killed more than 5,300 as of Thursday afternoon.
Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they had “very or somewhat serious concerns” about Trump’s early efforts to downplay the threat of the coronavirus. The president, of course, minimized the dangers of the virus at least 19 times, calling it a “hoax,” comparing it to the flu, suggesting it would “go away in April,” and saying the virus was “very much under control.”
Fifty-seven percent of respondents said Trump failed to take decisive action to stop the virus in the early stages of the outbreak, while 55% said he has failed to do what’s necessary to make the healthcare system work during the crisis. Trump, of course, initially declined to pursue more aggressive testing for the virus out of fear that more positive cases would hurt his bid for re-election.
Americans are also strongly opposed to Trump’s proposal to end social distancing measures early, with 68% of Americans (including 63% of independents and 48% of Republicans) opposing Trump’s call to “re-open” the economy by Easter. The president has since announced that social distancing measures will be in effect through at least the end of April.
Trump’s failure to deal with the shortage of masks and other protective gear for healthcare workers also concerned the poll’s respondents, with 63% saying they were “very or somewhat concerned” about the issue. Among those who hold mixed views on Trump, 75% were very or somewhat concerned by this.
Trump has repeatedly refused to take any responsibility for shortages of masks and other personal protective equipment, and has instead shifted blame for those shortages to the states. On Thursday, Trump even referred to the federal government as a “backup” in the fight against the coronavirus, saying states were responsible, and labeling those who’ve asked for more supplies as “complainers.”
The public has responded in kind to the vacuum created by Trump’s attempt to pass the buck to states by increasingly putting its trust in state and local governments. The survey found that over the past week, there has been a six-point increase in trust for state and local government to handle the coronavirus pandemic (54%, up from 48%), while trust in President Trump and the federal government has dropped from 35% to 33%.
The survey also included other grim findings: Six out of 10 Americans said they know someone who has lost their job, and 79% believe the worst is yet to come.