More Americans Now Approve of Trump Response to Virus Crisis

(CN) — New polling data released Friday indicates a majority of Americans now approve of how President Donald Trump is handling the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a turnaround spurred by his administration’s adoption of stricter measures to manage the crisis.

An ABC News/Ipsos poll released Friday shows 55% of Americans now approve of Trump’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, while 43% say they disapprove. The figures are a virtual swap of a poll a week ago which saw Trump at 43% approval and 54% disapproval.

Ivanka Trump, the daughter and assistant to President Donald Trump, listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House on Friday. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

After coming under fire in the early stages of the outbreak for offering responses that many considered to be unclear and contradictory, Trump has taken several new measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus. In recent days, he has made repeated appearances in the White House press room to issue coronavirus updates, declared a national emergency and expanded travel restrictions and advisories for international travel.

The president also recently enacted the Defense Production Act, a law passed during the Korean War that allows the government to mandate production boosts of important supplies, such as masks and ventilators.

After first suggesting the law was not currently in effect and tweeting it would only be used under a “worst case scenario” Trump seemed to suggest Friday that the act, and his authority under it, have been officially kickstarted.

“We invoked it, I think, the day before, we signed it the evening of the day before and invoked it yesterday. We have a lot of people working very hard to do ventilators and various other things,” Trump said.

Trump has also renewed efforts to coordinate with local governments as states around the country are taking steps to respond to Covid-19, though he has maintained states are still largely responsible for acquiring medical supplies on their own and that the federal government is “not a shipping clerk.”

Trump’s approval numbers come as more Americans around the country feel the influence of the coronavirus on their daily lives. California recently issued a shelter-in-place order for is roughly 40 million residents, New York has continued to tighten restrictions on how much of a company’s workforce is required to work from home and numerous state and county governments around the country are closing government buildings, schools, bars and restaurants.

Friday’s poll shows these restrictions have taken a noticeable toll on the daily lives and activities of most Americans. Over the past week, 72% of Americans say they canceled planned social activities; in last week’s poll, just 26% reported cancelling significant social events.

Among other activities Americans say they’re curtailing, 57% say they do not go out to eat at restaurants, 33% do not attend religious services and 32% now stay away from concerts or sporting events – though most major ones have already been canceled.

Last week, the number of Americans refraining from these activities due to coronavirus fears was in the single digits.

Just shy of a third of Americans say they have not canceled or postponed anything at this time.

More Americans are also changing how much they work from home during the outbreak. Nearly a fifth of Americans say they are working from home now, up from just 3% last week. Just 36% of Americans say they continue to report to their regular workplace.

The poll was conducted with a sample size of 512 adults and contained a 5% margin of error.

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