A majority of Americans now approve of President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new survey, as the administration has issued stricter federal guidelines in recent days and the president has adopted a more public-facing role in combating the disease.
An ABC News/Ipsos poll released Friday reports that 55 percent of respondents approve of Trump’s management of the public health crisis, while 43 percent disapprove. The latest figures represent a boost in the president’s rating from the previous iteration of the survey, published one week ago, which showed only 43 percent approval for Trump and 54 percent disapproval.
From last week (March 11-12) to this week (March 18-19), the number of Americans who have cancelled or postponed major social activities has almost tripled:
This week, 72% of Americans have cancelled or postponed activities compared to only 26% last week;
The most dramatic changes are in not going out to dinner (now 57% from 9%), not attending religious services (now 33% from 3%), and not attending sporting events or concerts (now 32% from 9%).
The uptick in public sentiment comes in the wake of a variety of measures the president has taken to combat the rapid spread of COVID-19 within the United States. Trump has been widely criticized for his initial response to the pandemic, as well as his administration’s inability to quickly ramp up testing across the country.
Since last Friday, Trump has declared a national emergency, expanded the European travel ban, urged against group gatherings of more than 10 people, signaled his support for dispensing checks to affected Americans, and invoked the Defense Production Act — although he has stopped short of actually triggering the statute.
The president has also often led the daily press briefings of the White House coronavirus task force, announcing new federal actions, taking questions from reporters and generally appearing more solemn regarding the nature of the threat facing the U.S.
“Governors on the front lines of the outbreak have praised the administration’s increased engagement, while still demanding a more robust, all-encompassing federal response and the delivery of sorely needed medical equipment in anticipation of the coronavirus’ overrunning of local health care systems.
The ABC News/Ipsos poll was conducted March 18-19, surveying 512 adults. Its margin of sampling error is plus or minus 5 percentage points.”