Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks via wikimedia commons
President Donald J. Trump listens as Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, delivers remarks at a coronavirus briefing Saturday, April 4, 2020, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House. At right is White House Coronavirus Task Force Response Coordinator Deborah Birx. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks via wikimedia commons)

Early on in the coronavirus pandemic, many pollsters gave President Donald Trump some of his best approval numbers he’s seen during his presidency for his handling of what was then a burgeoning crisis.

As the death toll from the pandemic continues to climb – now closing in on 10,000 in the U.S. – those days are long gone.

Navigator Research, a progressive survey project operated by two Democratic polling firms, began a daily tracking poll two weeks ago to measure how the public viewed the crisis and Trump’s response to it.

In their first tracking poll, released March 24, 52% of Americans approved of the president’s handling of the pandemic.

But those numbers are now in reverse.

Navigator polling shows that a growing number of Americans feel that Trump downplayed the crisis, was unprepared, and failed to respond quickly.

In the latest poll out over the weekend, 59% of respondents said they had “serious concerns” that Trump failed to take decisive action in the early stages of the outbreak.

Among the poll’s findings are: Americans say they are concerned by Trump’s failure to take responsibility and by his chaotic handling of the pandemic; those with “mixed views on Trump” are especially worried about the challenges facing American health care workers; public supports social distancing broadly and strongly opposed Trump’s proposal to end it soon.

The polling also finds that early mistakes, lack of accountability, and ongoing shortcomings in the coronavirus response trouble most Americans, including many with “mixed views on Trump.”

Poll results

Americans who sometimes approve of Trump and sometimes disapprove of Trump cite early inaction as a serious concern and also worry about a looming hospital crisis.

Mixed messages from the Trump administration and a lack of support for health care workers are most concerning to poll respondents.

The poll shows while the share of Americans who know someone who has lost a job due to the pandemic has risen dramatically over the past week, the number who think “the worst is yet to come” has also continued growing and has reached a new high.

According to the data, in the last four weeks the percentage of the public who say the worst of the pandemic is yet to come has grown by 26 points.

This includes 71% of independents and 70% of Republicans who feel the worst is still yet to come.

The public has increasingly put their trust in state and local government to handle the coronavirus pandemic.

Over the past week, there has been a 6-point increase in trust for state and local government to handle the coronavirus pandemic (54%, up from 48%), while trust for President Trump and the federal government has dropped 2 points (33%, down from 35%).

Americans have increasingly trust Dr. Anthony Fauci and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in particular to tell the truth about the coronavirus pandemic.

While Americans trust Fauci, a disease expert from the National Institute of Health, and Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, to tell the truth about coronavirus, the public is wary of the president.

Among political independents, the gap is wider, with Fauci at +57, Cuomo at +16, and Trump at -16.

Cuomo’s trust numbers are especially high with cable news viewers. 68% of CNN viewers and 64% of MSNBC viewers trust Cuomo. But even among Fox News viewers, a very conservative audience, 33% trust Cuomo.

A plurality of Americans (45%) say that Trump is not focused enough on people’s health while only 22% say he isn’t focused enough on the economy.

A near majority of independents do not think Trump is focusing the right amount on either the economy (50% not focused enough or too focused) or on people’s health (49%).

Americans nearly unanimously support social distancing, and an increasing number think we should be taking more aggressive measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Fully two-thirds of Americans (68%, including 63% of independents and a 48% plurality of Republicans) opposed Trump’s specific call to “re-open” the economy by Easter.

Even 40% of voters who supported Trump in 2016 now believe he failed to take the crisis seriously enough early on. The number of people saying Trump was honest about the crisis has declined, the poll showed, and 53% now believe he has been dishonest.

As Trump has gone on the offensive, holding his own daily briefings on the pandemic, the virus has been spreading rapidly in the United States.

As of Monday afternoon, an additional 1,231 Connecticut residents had tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 6,906.

To date, the statewide total number of COVID-19 associated fatalities in Connecticut is 206.

More than 26,686 people have been tested for COVID-19 in Connecticut among both state and private laboratories. Approximately 1,221 patients have been hospitalized.

In New York, while the state has recorded 4,758 total deaths, with an additional 599 from the day before, it’s only a slight uptick from the 594 added two days ago, Cuomo said Monday, and shows a “possible flattening of the curve” that is “better than the increases we have seen.”