Poll shows 64% of Americans distrust Trump on COVID-19 as GOP gov speaks out about disapproval

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Friday, July 17, 2020
Trump faces sinking polls, criticism over pandemic response
A new ABC News poll shows 64% of Americans distrust the president's coronavirus response.

Six in 10 Americans disapprove of President Donald Trump's response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll released Friday.

About 60% of Americans responded that they did not approve of how the president handled the crisis, up steeply since the early days of the outbreak. In late March, 51% of those who responded to the national survey, a slight majority, showed approval.

Only 34% said they trust what Trump has to say about COVID-19.

There's also a disconnect in terms of priorities, with Americans, by 63-33%, saying it's more important to control the spread of the virus than to restart the economy, a goal Trump has stressed. As of Friday, the United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 3.5 million diagnosed cases and at least 138,300 deaths.

This poll comes as members of the president's own Republican party publically criticized his handling of the pandemic.

Maryland's Republican governor Larry Hogan spoke exclusively to "Good Morning America," saying "it's no secret" other Republicans privately share concerns.

Maryland's GOP Gov. Larry Hogan penned a Washington Post op-ed this week titled "Fighting Alone," which blasted Trump for his delayed response to COVID-19 and described his "hopeless" wait for testing strategies and supplies.

"There's no secret, I think, that there are other Republican elected officials, both governors and senators and congressmen who have some frustrations," Hogan told "Good Morning America" Friday in an exclusive interview.

"Not too many people are willing to stand up and speak out," Hogan continued. "They don't want to be tweeted about. They don't want to be primaried and they don't want to have any wrath of the president coming after them."

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany was quick to point out that the Republican governor had previously spoken positively about the president, calling the op-ed "revisionist history."

Trump has attempted to steer the conversation away from coronavirus and toward the economy. On Thursday, the White House turned an official event into an elaborate photo opportunity, featuring pickup trucks and giant weights symbolizing government regulation. During the event, he labeled Democratic rival Joe Biden as the biggest threat to the nation.

"Our entire economy and very way of life are threatened by Biden's plans to transform our nation," he said.

Wednesday's ouster of campaign manager Brad Parscale was the campaign's clearest acknowledgment that Trump's reelection effort is in need of a course correction. Parscale, whose role had already been diminished, was replaced by Bill Stepien, an experienced GOP operative.

The Associated Press and ABC News contributed to this report.