Chris Cuomo blasts Trump's handling of coronavirus

Trump's approval rating sliding as criticism mounts over White House response to coronavirus pandemic

Majority of Americans also say White House is not doing good job of handling nationwide Covid-19 outbreak

Chris Riotta
New York
@chrisriotta
Thursday 09 April 2020 09:51
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Donald Trump’s approval rating appeared to be falling as criticism over his White House administration’s seemingly slow response to the coronavirus pandemic continued to mount throughout the week, according to a list of recent polls.

Those polls showed the president’s approval dropping off from a slight bump it received during the first weeks of the global coronavirus pandemic, with RealClearPolitics placing the figure at 45.2 per cent on Wednesday, falling from 47.3 on 31 March.

Even the president’s preferred polls showed a decline in his approval ratings, including the right-leaning Rasmussen Reports, which put Mr Trump’s approval at 47 per cent compared to a recent high of 52 per cent on 27 February.

The newly published polls coincide with a CNN survey conducted by SSRS that suggested a majority (55 per cent) of Americans think the White House and federal government have done a poor job handling the pandemic.

However, one poll published by CNBC did appear to show an increase in the president’s approval rating, showing a jump of six points to 46 per cent from its data published in December.

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The US confirmed its first case of the novel coronavirus on 20 January. Since then, nearly 400,000 Americans have tested positive for Covid-19 and some 14,000 people have died across the country.

Health officials warn the true figures are likely far higher, however, citing significant issues the federal government had in distributing testing kits across the country and conducting rapid, expansive testing to help contain the spread of the virus.

Some analysts have said the initial weeks of the outbreak in the US could have served as a critical window for officials to contain the virus by tracing infections through nationwide testing, but the country instead struggled for weeks to implement new testing capabilities and send out tests to states like West Virginia, the last state to confirm a case of Covid-19.

Local Democratic and Republican officials alike have meanwhile spoken out about the administration’s response and issues in coordinating assistance from the federal government amid a surge of coronavirus infections.

Some governors, like New York’s Andrew Cuomo, have walked a fine line in recent weeks thanking the president publicly for his help while also calling for additional aid from the federal government, including extra ventilators from the national stockpile.

Others, like Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer, have become the subject of attacks from the president on social media, as Mr Trump told reporters he encourages Vice President Mike Pence “not to call” her and others who “complain” about his response to the pandemic.

Some polls tracking the president’s approval ratings showed the slight bump it received having dissipated in just two weeks, dropping from nearly 55 per cent to 47 per cent in a recent ABC News/Ipsos poll.

While Mr Trump has not commented publicly in recent days about his seemingly declining approval ratings, the president has compared his daily press briefings on the pandemic to “Monday Night Football, Bachelor Finale type numbers” in a tweet on Wednesday.

“The Radical Left Democrats have gone absolutely crazy that I am doing daily Presidential News Conferences,” he wrote. “They actually want me to STOP! They used to complain that I am not doing enough of them, now they complain that I ‘shouldn’t be allowed to do them.’”

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