CBS/YouGov Poll: Most Americans Do Not Believe Trump Was Prepared to Handle Pandemic

A new CBS/YouGov poll found that 66 percent of Americans believe President Donald Trump was not prepared to handle the novel coronavirus pandemic. However, 54 percent believe “are optimistic that his administration will be able to handle the outbreak.” The poll also found that 56 percent of Americans do not trust the president to give them accurate information on the crisis.

Instead, that trust has been placed in medical professionals, who 88 percent of those surveyed say they rely on for information about the pandemic. 82 percent also trust the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide accurate information. While Americans are “significantly more likely” to trust their state governor––66 percent––over Trump, who scored 44 percent in this department, they are more likely to trust their families and friends over government officials (73 percent).

“Democrats and Republicans are similarly likely to trust medical and health professionals (92% vs. 90%) and the Centers for Disease Control (87% vs. 84%),” the poll notes, though there are “significant partisan splits on whether Americans trust Trump for their COVID-19 information.”

Republicans are also more likely to trust friends and family for information regarding the novel coronavirus (81 percent). The figure for Democrats is 72 percent. Democrats are more likely, however, to trust their state governor (65 percent). 77 percent say they are not likely to trust social media for information regarding the pandemic.

For example, 90 percent of Republicans say they trust the president to provide accurate information compared to 14 percent of Democrats and 43 percent of independents. There’s also a split between age groups:  While 61 percent between 18 and 29-years-old say they don’t trust Trump to give them accurate information, 51 percent of seniors say otherwise.

The novel coronavirus has claimed at least 1,037 lives in the United States. That number is likely much higher due to a nationwide testing shortage. Last week, The Washington Post revealed that the U.S. intelligence community warned the Trump administration about a likely pandemic as early as January and February, but that these warnings were ignored.