COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – When President Donald Trump speaks about the COVID-19 pandemic, a majority of Americans do not trust that what he says is true.
Fifty-eight percent of people in an NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll of 47,190 Americans released Tuesday say they do not trust what President Trump has said about the coronavirus. Instead, the survey found, Americans trust the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (55%), Dr. Anthony Fauci (51%) or their state’s governor (49%).
Trust in public officials runs across party lines, however, as Republican and Republican-leaning Americans trust the president’s COVID-19 statements more than their Democratic counterparts do, 69 to 2 percent. And among independents, only 13 percent trust Trump.
Democrats and Democrat-leaners trust Fauci, the CDC and their state governors more than Republicans and Republican-leaners by margins of 78-32, 76-38 and 63-41 percent, respectively.
Majorities of Republicans and Republican-leaners do not trust COVID-19 information that come from Fauci, America’s top infectious disease expert (53%), and leading health agency, the CDC (52%).
Fauci has headed the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, serving as a key adviser on disease outbreaks for both Democratic and Republican presidents. President George W. Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2008.
Americans overall disapprove of President Trump’s handling of the months-long COVID-19 crisis, 54 to 44 percent. Predictably, his approval is higher among conservatives than liberals as 86 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaners approve of Trump’s handling of the pandemic, compared to just 7 percent of Democrats and Democrat-leaners.
As for state officials, 58 percent approve of their governor’s handling of the pandemic.
Tuesday’s survey was conducted between July 27 and August 2 and is nationally representative of age, race, sex, education and geography. Its margin of error is +/- 1 percent.
Masks and reopening
The survey also asked Americans about the impacts of COVID-19, including mask wearing and reopening of businesses.
Despite a national debate about wearing masks, 68 percent of people said they wear a mask every time they leave their home to be in contact with other people. Another 17 percent said they wear a mask most of the time. Only 4 percent said they never do.
The partisan divide surfaces again, however, as 48 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaners said they wear a mask every time they go out, compared to 85 percent of Democrats and Democrat-leaners. Independents registered at 72 percent.
Sixty percent of survey respondents said they worry businesses in their area are reopening too quickly, with 36 percent saying they are reopening too slowly.
Republicans and Republican-leaners worry businesses are reopening too slowly by a 66-31 percent margin, while Democrats and Democrat-leaners worry they are reopening too quickly by an 88-10 percent margin. Independents were much closer to Democrats, worrying about reopening too quickly 66 to 31 percent.