From basically ignoring the coronavirus for the first two months to dismissing masks, President Donald Trump has repeatedly mishandled the ongoing pandemic. And yet, he is very vocal about wanting to end lockdowns as soon as possible, even tweeting, "SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!" this week, despite cases surging across the country. Now, a poll says that Americans trust their governors over Trump on the coronavirus.
A new poll from NBC News and Survey Monkey Weekly surveyed around 44,500 people. It found that 55 percent of respondents disapproved of Trump's handling of the pandemic while 43 percent approved. By itself, that's not a huge difference. But, what's interesting is 70 percent of respondents said they trusted their governors to make decisions about when to reopen more than Trump.
There are clear partisan divides: 93 percent of Democrats said they trust their governors more compared to 45 percent of Republicans. Similarly, when asked if businesses are reopening too quickly or slowly, the majority of people said it's all happening too quick at 63 percent. However, that's a sentiment shared by 87 percent of Democrats and just 37 percent of Republicans.
If NBC's poll isn't enough, the latest Gallup poll found that Trump's job approval rating has sunk to 38 percent. He has hit record lows among both Democrats and independents. However, the partisan divides here are also blatant. The poll found that 91 percent of Republicans approve of Trump's performance (up six points) compared to 2 percent of Democrats.
Since the pandemic began, Trump has engaged in a weird power struggle with governors. In March, governors began to coordinate amongst themselves after Trump failed to do much of anything about the pandemic. That trend continued into April. During an appearance on The View, California Governor Gavin Newsom said, “So when you ask, ‘are we going to rely on the federal government, or are we gonna rely on ourselves,’ we’re going to rely disproportionately on ourselves."
Later that month, Trump claimed that he alone has the power to reopen state economies after governors on the East and West coasts formed pacts to coordinate reopenings. But in addition to his weird power struggle, Trump has treated the coronavirus like its a partisan issue. His son even claimed that it would "magically disappear" after Election Day.
While polls are showing that many Americans aren't impressed with Trump, they're also flat out miserable. Last month, a poll found that only 14 percent of Americans say they're very happy. Overall, Americans feel more depressed than they did after 9/11, with 38 percent of respondents saying so now compared to 33 percent then.
This isn't surprising because of course the coronavirus takes a mental health toll. Unfortunately, it's unlikely to change anytime soon. As the United States approaches 3 million confirmed coronavirus cases — including a new daily record set last week —, Trump is blaming increasing numbers on testing. And last month, the administration began making moves to close federally funded testing sites.