New polling released Friday revealed that 60% of Americans disapprove of President Donald Trump’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, a finding that comes hours after the U.S. reported a record-shattering 75,600 new coronavirus infections on Thursday alone.
The Washington Post/ABC News poll found that just 38% percent of Americans approve of Trump’s handling of the pandemic, down from 51% in March. Disapproval of the president’s performance has risen 15 percentage points since March, with 52% of Americans now “strongly” disapproving of Trump’s handling of the crisis.
Nearly two-thirds of the survey’s 1,006 respondents said they don’t “trust what Trump says about the coronavirus pandemic.”
The Post reported that the president’s “worsening ratings on management of the outbreak reflect not only a drop in approval among Democrats but also declines among some groups that have been core parts of his coalition since 2016.”
“Trump’s ratings for handling the coronavirus have dropped by 16 percentage points among white evangelical Protestants to 68 percent today; by 15 points among white men without college degrees to 56 percent; and by 11 points among rural residents to 48 percent approval,” the Post noted.
New @washingtonpost poll shows a big drop in Trump's job rating on handling the cornoravirus going from -7 in May to -22 now — 38% approve and 60% disapprove. https://t.co/UDHWpbexI2 pic.twitter.com/of2t1C8ZyK
— John Anzalone (@JohnAnzo) July 17, 2020
Soaring disapproval of Trump’s handling of the pandemic has coincided with a spike in new Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths across the U.S., forcing states like California, Texas, and Florida to abruptly roll back their reopenings. On Thursday, the U.S. reported more than 75,600 new Covid-19 infections, blowing past the previous single-day record of 68,241 set last Friday.
“This is where we are now because of Trump,” Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) tweeted late Thursday. “The Republican Party isn’t just unfit to govern but a threat to your life and the lives of your family.”
Trump has repeatedly downplayed the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic and falsely attributed rising infections to an increase in testing, even in the face of warnings that the U.S. could soon see 100,000 new cases per day if sweeping mitigation measures aren’t taken. In a July 2 interview with Fox Business, the president predicted that the coronavirus is “going to sort of just disappear.”
Since the president’s remarks, coronavirus cases and hospitalizations have continued to rise nationwide. As the New York Times reported Friday, “the reopening and relaxing of social distancing restrictions in some states may be contributing to the first noticeable nationwide increase in coronavirus fatalities since April, when the pandemic initially peaked.”
“While the growth rate of new deaths has flattened slightly in the past few days, data suggest that the recent increase in deaths may continue,” the Times reported. “Most of the states seeing the sharpest increase in deaths also have some of the country’s highest positive test rates, as well as soaring hospitalization rates, an indicator that many more residents may be gravely ill.”
— Karen Yourish (@karenyourish) July 17, 2020
In an interview on PBS Newshour Tuesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) blamed the surge in Covid-19 cases on “Trump’s ineptitude and downplaying of this pandemic from day one.”
“It’s getting worse in many states in this country: 135,000 people have already died and that number will grow in the months to come,” said Sanders. “We have got to stand up and represent the working families of this country, who are seeing today more desperation than they have seen in many, many decades.”
“The alternative to not becoming aggressive,” said Sanders, “is to see, in my view, not only unbelievable human suffering, but to see this economy head straightforward into a Great Depression.”
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