March 18, 2020
Can Americans recognize a snake oil salesman when they see one? A poll conducted March 13-16 by NPR, PBS News Hour and Marist among 784 U.S. adults has found that far more Americans trust the news media than trust President Donald Trump to tell them the unvarnished truth about the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a report by The Washington Post, the poll determined that only 37% of Americans have a good deal of trust in the information Trump tells them about coronavirus. By contrast, 60% have little to no trust in what he says.
And as Americans continue to wait for the widespread COVID-19 testing that already is available in other countries, 44% of those polled say they approve of Trump’s handling of the crisis, while 49% disapprove of it. Drilling down, 85% of Republicans approve, but only 40% of Independents do.
However, the Post notes, 70% are concerned that coronavirus will spread to their communities—a massive swing from 44% last month, in spite Trump’s efforts to downplay it.
Such findings are supported by a recent Quinnipiac poll, which found that Americans hold Trump’s handling of coronavirus in low regard, while only smallish minorities ascribe to Trump qualities like honesty and leadership.
Research contact: @washingtonpost