A new Post-Ipsos poll finds that 56 percent of Americans disapprove of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus, while only 43 percent approve. By contrast, 71 percent approve of their governor’s handling of the disease.
Tellingly, this also applies to specific swing-state governors in Trump’s crosshairs. He has raged that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer must “LIBERATE” Michigan, and has fumed that people in Pennsylvania “want their freedom now.”
But in Michigan, approval of the governor’s handling of the virus is 72 percent, while Trump’s is 39 percent. In Pennsylvania, those numbers are 72 percent and 45 percent, respectively.
Another finding from the poll confirms even more clearly how badly Trump has lost the argument: It finds that an astonishing 57 percent of Americans say Trump is not doing enough to ensure that people can return to work safely. By contrast, only 42 percent say he’s doing enough.
By contrast, 69 percent say their governors are doing enough to ensure that people can return to work safely. And 56 percent say their state governors are handling the pace of lifting restrictions “about right,” while only 16 percent say they’re not lifting them quickly enough.
And 74 percent agree with the view that the United States should keep trying to slow the coronavirus even if it means keeping many businesses closed. Only 25 percent take the opposite view — Trump’s view.
A stunning indictment
All of that is a stunning indictment of Trump’s failures: Large majorities grasp that he’s putting people in danger by urging a reopening on his timetable — which we all know is largely dictated by his reelection needs — and large majorities understand this is precisely because he failed to do enough to ensure it can be done safely.
Trump is dissembling furiously to try to make these accurate public perceptions disappear. He just claimed once again that coronavirus rates are “coming down in most parts of our Country,” which “wants to open and get going again.”
That’s undermined by internal administration data obtained by NBC News, which shows cases spiking in some metropolitan and small communities around the country. Indeed, as The Post notes, cases are continuing to rise in the very places that are reopening more quickly. And the new polling above shows that large majorities do not even necessarily want what Trump claims.
Trump also insisted Monday that “we have prevailed” on testing, and suggested anyone who wants a test can get one, which is flatly false. He’s also suggesting we are reopening safely precisely because of our stupendously great testing, which is contradicted by public health experts who point out we’re far short of the testing needed to safely reopen.
Here again, as the above polling shows, a sizable majority of 57 percent do not believe Trump is doing enough to allow us to reopen safely.
Meanwhile, a new CNN poll also shows the public soundly condemning Trump’s performance: It finds that solid majorities believe the federal government is not doing enough about the shortage in testing (57 percent) and is not doing enough about the potential for a second wave of cases (58 percent).
It also finds that an abysmal 36 percent trust information from Trump about the coronavirus, that 52 percent say the worst has yet to come, and that only 42 percent approve of Trump’s handling of the disease, versus 55 percent who disapprove of it.
The rage of Trump partisans
One thing that has been remarkable is the sputtering rage of Trump’s propagandists as they witness large majorities refusing to prioritize Trump’s reelection needs — oops, sorry, I meant refusing to prioritize “getting the economy going” — over their own health and lives.
How to balance resuming normal economic life with the public health of the country is a complicated and difficult question, of course. But Trump’s partisans refuse to treat this topic with any nuance.
They are pushing utter nonsense, such as pretending those criticizing Trump for failing to scale up testing so we can reopen carefully are waging class war on oppressed workers who just want to resume livelihoods.
But the Post poll shows only 25 percent of Americans want to reopen faster. And never mind that in many cases, those bearing the brunt of the illness right now are working people — that is, people who have kept on working low-skilled but essential jobs.
Other Trump partisans are urging ordinary Americans to “patriotically” adopt a “military mind-set” to resume normal life, even as Trump benefits from the safety of testing and tracing in a way they do not. And these armchair warriors refuse to acknowledge that Trump himself is to blame for failing to make reopening a lot safer than it currently is.
It’s hard to overstate how comprehensively and thoroughly the American people are rejecting these arguments.
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