Americans Not Pleased With Trump Administration Handling of Pandemic

(CN) – A frustrated nation thinks the federal government and President Donald Trump dropped the ball in their response to the spread of the coronavirus, according to the results of a CNN poll released Wednesday.

Most Americans polled (55%) say the federal government did a poor job preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus. And 80% expect the worst is yet to come.

President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Wednesday, April 1, 2020, in Washington, as Vice President Mike Pence listens. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

This week, the U.S. saw over 400,000 infected by the Covid-19 virus and 13,000 deaths. The pandemic has also effectively ground the economy to a halt and resulted in the lockdown of school, travel and all gatherings, including social- and faith-based events.

While life in the rest of the world has been dramatically altered by the spread of the virus, in the U.S. frustration abounds as emergency rooms say there is not enough medical equipment for the surge of infected Americans, and triage hospitals are setup in sports arenas and convention centers across the country.

According to the CNN poll, 69% of those polled said the federal government should be doing more to provide personal protective equipment and medical devices used in the treatment of coronavirus.

The poll of 1,002 respondents, conducted by SSRS the week before the Easter holiday, shows a steady decline of Trump’s handling of the Covid-19 spread across the U.S.

Trump has defiantly shirked any blame for his administration’s slow response to the spread of the virus, going so far as to blame the Obama administration for the lack of preparedness. In February, Trump touted the coronavirus as a “hoax” inflated by his political rivals.

In early March, 49% said the federal government was doing a good job. But by the beginning of April just 41% said Trump was doing a good job with the majority disapproving of the response.

And 55% said Trump could be doing more to fight the outbreak, according to the poll results.

More than half (60%) said they had not gone to work and 77% said they did not visit any friends or relatives between April 3 and April 6. Furthermore, 60% say they would not feel comfortable going back to their regular routine if the federal government lifts its social distancing guidelines at the end of the month.

The majority (70%) are very confident or somewhat confident they can get adequate care if they contract the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19.

Meanwhile, just over one in five respondents say they personally knew someone who contracted the virus. Half of them say they’re optimistic they or anyone in their family will not contract the virus, according to the poll results.

Disapproval over the federal response to the virus is also seen in a Monmouth University Poll released Wednesday, which found most of those polled (54%) say federal measures have not gone far enough to slow the spread of the virus.

The state of New York saw over 700 deaths in one day this week, and projections by state and federal health officials show the U.S. has not yet hit its peak. Estimates put the peak in mid-April though those calculations are capricious.

Just 15% and 38% say they are very confident or somewhat confident, respectively, that the U.S. will be able to slow the spread of the virus in the U.S. according to the poll.

That confidence could be in large part due to the actions taken by local state and city governments, including governors who have taken the initiative to shore up the lack of resources from federal agencies. According to the Monmouth Poll, 60% say the steps taken by state governments have been appropriate, with just 30% who say those state officials have not gone far enough and 8% who say they have gone too far. 

Approval ratings for governors are at 72%, while approval of health agencies within the federal government are at 66%.

But Trump has begun to lose any praise for his response to the global pandemic in the U.S., with just 46% saying he’s done a good job, and 49% who say it has been a bad job, according to the poll results.

Republicans overwhelmingly say Trump is doing a good job (87%), as do just 45% of independents and just 16% of Democrats. Trump’s overall job rating as the leader of the U.S. has ticked down to 44% according to the Monmouth Poll, down from 46% last month.

Meanwhile, 34% of those polled say estimates that 200,000 Americans might die during the Covid-19 outbreak are overstated, while 23% say only the elderly and those with underlying health conditions are at risk of getting seriously ill. However, just 20% say reports about hospitals lacking medical supplies have been exaggerated. Republicans are more likely in agreement with these types of statements, while Democrats were least likely.

The Monmouth Poll of 857 adults was conducted by phone from April 3 to April 7 and has a 3.4% margin of error.

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