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article imageOp-Ed: Trump's approval on handling of COVID-19 is now underwater

By Karen Graham     Jun 24, 2020 in Politics
American approval of President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic has dropped to the lowest level on record, the latest Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll shows. And this includes both Republicans and Democrats voicing their displeasure.
The latest poll shows that only 37 percent of Americans approve of the way Trump is handling the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. This is the lowest approval rating since Reuters/Ipsos started asking the question at the beginning of March. Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they disapproved.
In recent days, Trump has again "shot himself in the foot" over the way he has publicly responded to the COVID-19 crisis, creating a lot of confusion over the past weekend when he said during a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma that he asked his staff to “slow down the testing, please.”
"Testing is a double-edged sword," Trump said in Tulsa, according to The Hill. "We’ve tested now 25 million people. It’s probably 20 million people more than anybody else. Germany’s done a lot. South Korea’s done a lot."
US President Donald Trump defied coronavirus concerns and held a campaign rally -- his first in thre...
US President Donald Trump defied coronavirus concerns and held a campaign rally -- his first in three months -- in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where the crowd was smaller than promised
Nicholas Kamm, AFP
That remark, straight out of the horse's mouth prompted a flurry of activity with the White House staff who said that Trump's comments were meant as a joke. Well, Trump made matters even worse by telling a reporter on Tuesday he doesn’t “kid.”
“Let me make it clear. We have got the greatest testing program anywhere in the world. We test better than anybody in the world. Our tests are the best in the world and we have the most of them,” Trump said, adding that more tests allow the United States to detect more cases. “By having more cases it sounds bad, but actually what it is is finding more people.”
And all the president's absurd rhetoric aside, the United States has seen a spike in new cases of the coronavirus nationally that have climbed above 30,000 per day over the weekend, after having leveled off at around 20,000 per day for weeks. According to a database compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. has reported 2,347,102 confirmed cases and 121,225 deaths from COVID-19 as of Wednesday morning.
President Donald Trump frequently boasts about the size of his rally crowds
President Donald Trump frequently boasts about the size of his rally crowds
Nicholas Kamm, AFP
Trump has been steadily bleeding support among a broad swath of his voters since March - and much of this loss is due to his apparent disregard for the pandemic, especially with his focus centered on getting reelected. And we can't forget his response to the protests over police handling of Black Americans.
You could say that even core Republicans - those who have supported Trump through all his presidency, come hell or high water - are abandoning him, to some degree. Just 43 percent said they thought the country was headed in the “right direction,” the lowest level recorded by the Reuters/Ipsos poll since Trump entered office in January 2017.
Trump has also seen criticism from the public and the military, particularly James Mattis, his first defense secretary, over his militarized response to the protests. And more recently, in his new book, John Bolton said Trump was unfit to be president and accused him of routinely obstructing justice.
So, it is any wonder that more voters, on both sides of the political spectrum, are questioning Trump's fitness to have a second term?
US President Donald Trump holds up a Bible outside of St John's Episcopal church across Lafayet...
US President Donald Trump holds up a Bible outside of St John's Episcopal church across Lafayette Park after federal police cleared out a peaceful demonstration
Brendan Smialowski, AFP
Republican National Convention host city turns on Trump
A poll released Wednesday morning by the University of North Florida’s Public Opinion Research Lab shows that Republicans in Jacksonville, Florida have soured on Trump. And this is big news, according to Florida Politics.
The survey of 2,524 registered Duval County voters revealed that President Donald Trump's approval rating was now underwater, even though he had carried the county in the 2016 presidential election. Just 39 percent of registered voters approve of the President, with a full 61 percent disapproving.
Breaking the poll numbers down by party, only 5 percent of Democrats approved of Trump, while his approval rating was 31 percent with voters who lack party affiliation. The President is also at 31 percent with women, and breaks even with men, with a 48-48 split.
Only 82 percent of Republicans approved of Trump, and this apparently does not bode well for him this year - especially when he plans on making culture war plays the centerpiece of his reelection campaign.
Oh, and just to clear the air a bit over the actual number of coronavirus tests being reported in the United States - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now says that 29,339,757 coronavirus tests have been conducted nationwide as of June 23, 2020. About 10 percent or 2,848,081 of the tests produced positive results.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Trump, coronavirus, Approval rating, Jacksonville Florida, Testing
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