A majority of voters think that Barack Obama would have done a better job handling the coronavirus crisis than Donald Trump has been, a new poll shows.
The Politico-Morning Consult poll showed that 52 percent of the 1,990 respondents believe that Obama would be a better leader than the current president during the pandemic, while 38 percent picked Trump as the better leader. The poll did find a bright spot for Trump, as 44 percent thought he would be a better leader than current Democratic rival Joe Biden, who earned the support of 36 percent of voters.
The poll also found that Trump’s approval rating on his handling of the coronavirus overall continues to dip. After earning majority approval through the first several weeks of stringent lockdown efforts across the United States, Trump’s rating has started to trend in the other direction. The Politico-Morning Consult poll found that 54 percent of voters disapproved of Trump’s performance, while 44 percent said they approved.
Trump has been widely criticized for the federal government’s slow response to the crisis, as the president spent several weeks downplaying the severity of the coronavirus outbreak and predicting that it would soon be over in the United States. As the virus has continued to spread and the total number of cases in the United States topped 400,000, Trump has also been criticized for a lack of preparation in having sufficient medical equipment and supplies.
Trump has bristled at some of the criticism he has faced, especially after the release this week of a report from the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services that detailed a widespread shortage of personal protective equipment at the nation’s hospitals. The 40-page report, compiled through interviews with 323 hospitals, showed that medical staff is exposed to infected patients without proper protection and that shipments of equipment from the federal government have been inconsistent and disjointed, New York Magazine reported.
Since the release of the report, Trump has pushed back against reporters who have asked about it and suggested that the inspector general may have been simply expressing her opinion.
Other polls have shown the Trump administration’s approval on the handling of the coronavirus falling. A CNN poll released on Wednesday showed that 55 percent of respondents said that the federal government has not done a good job, an increase of eight points in one week. The poll showed a sharp political divide on opinions of the government’s response to the crisis, with 80 percent of Republicans saying the government has done a good job and 85 percent of Democrats saying the response has been poor.