KEY POINTS

  • American voters don't like what Trump is saying about COVID-19
  • 49% say Trump is failing in handling this job, compared to 43% that say otherwise
  • The same Quinnipiac poll shows Trump's disapproval rating at 54% versus a 41% approval

It will be the United States healthcare system (and not President Donald Trump) that will successfully lead the country out of the COVID-19 epidemic which has already swept through 35 states. On Monday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said "the threat of a pandemic has become very real" now that the COVID-19 virus has a foothold in so many countries.

A Quinnipiac University poll conducted from March 5 to March 8 and released Monday revealed more American registered voters disapprove of President Donald Trump's handling of the COVID-19 crisis than those who approve of it. The poll showed 49% of registered voters disapproving of Trump's actions thus far, compared to 43% that say otherwise.

The results of this poll seem to mirror Trump's negative approval rating in other polls as well. These polls have consistently showed Trump with a larger disapproval than approval rating.

For example, the same Quinnipiac poll has Trump's overall job approval rating still in negative territory, with a huge 54% showing disapproval against 41% approving of the job he's doing as president.

"It is not all bad news for President Trump. The silver lining to his mediocre approval rating is an impressive thumbs-up on the economy. But the big question remains: what happens going forward as uncertainty over the coronavirus fallout hangs a dark shadow over the global economy?" asked Tim Malloy, a Quinnipiac University Poll Analyst.

Surprisingly, the poll found more voters have confidence the U.S. healthcare system will handle COVID-19 better than Trump or the federal government. A huge 66% of respondents said they're confident the healthcare system will handle the outbreak, while 30% weren't confident. Also, 53% of voters said they have confidence in the federal government, while 43% said they did not.

This poll also found a clear split among respondents on party lines. It showed 87% of Republicans approve of Trump's handling of the coronavirus crisis., while 83% of Democrats disapproved. Half the Independents also disapproved.

Among the other interesting findings of the Quinnipiac poll:

* 54% of voters are either very or somewhat concerned they or someone they know will be infected by COVID-19.

* 45% of voters said they're not so concerned or not concerned at all about COVID-19.

* Democrats are the most concerned, followed by Independents.

* Republicans are the least concerned.

* 60% of voters said they're either very or somewhat concerned the COVID-19 outbreak will disrupt their daily lives.

King County officials speak following the death of a Washington state resident due to novel coronavirus King County officials speak following the death of a Washington state resident due to novel coronavirus Photo: AFP / Jason Redmond

As of Monday evening, there are 607 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S., which is nearly double the number reported on Friday, and 22 deaths.

Trump and his officials have continuously either downplayed or ignored warnings from public health officials that the coronavirus will severely disrupt public life if it continues to spread at its current rate within the country. On Monday morning, Trump blamed Saudi Arabia, Russia and the mainstream media for the stock market's dismal performance and for the recent drop in oil prices.

Trump himself, his advisers and political allies falsely insist the U.S. has contained the coronavirus and investors and the public don't need to be worried. Trump's denial of COVID-19's potential to inflict extensive damage on the U.S. economy, as it did to China's, was illustrated in one of his tweets Monday:

"So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year," Trump tweeted. "Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!"