Far more Americans are placing their trust in what White House infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo are saying about the health crisis than what Donald Trump is saying, according to a new poll from NBC News/Wall Street Journal.
Three out of every five Americans told pollsters they trust what Mr Fauci says about coronavirus, which has claimed the lives of at least 39,000 people in the US as of Sunday. Only 8 percent do not trust the public statements of Mr Fauci, a longtime White House pandemic adviser who has served both Republican and Democratic administrations.
Forty-six percent of respondents to the poll conducted from 13-15 April said they trust the public statements of Mr Cuomo, New York’s Democratic governor, about coronavirus, compared to just 17 percent who said they distrust him.
The president meanwhile, is distrusted by most of the nation. While 36 percent of those surveyed said they trust what they president has been telling them about the health crisis, more than half, 52 percent, said they do not.
The numbers could reflect the wide reach cable television still has in helping inform American opinions about its public leaders: All three of Mr Trump, Mr Fauci, and Mr Cuomo have been appearing on Americans’ televisions on a daily basis for weeks now, with CNN and news networks carrying Mr Cuomo’s daily briefings from New York around lunchtime on the East Coast in addition to the daily briefings at the White House every evening around dinner time.
Meanwhile, Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president this November, has mostly stayed out of the spotlight for the coronavirus response, which is reflected in the poll numbers.
While only 26 percent of poll respondents said they trust what Mr Biden says about coronavirus, just 29 percent said they don’t trust the former vice president, with almost half, 45 percent, declining to give an opinion.
And governors could be some of the biggest political beneficiaries of the coronavirus, two out of every three respondents saying they trust their respective governors, compared to just 20 percent who say they don’t trust their state’s leader.
The poll’s full sample of 900 registered voters, surveyed via live interview, has a margin of error of +/- 3.3 percentage points.
Mr Biden maintained his nationwide lead over Mr Trump in the NBC News/WSJ poll, 49 percent to 42 percent, just outside the margin of error.
Mr Biden’s advantage was down from the same poll last month that found him leading Mr Trump 52 percent to 43 percent, though that shift was within the margin of error.
As Mr Trump aims to re-open parts of the economy in the next few weeks, he still has a negative overall approval rating that has persisted over nearly his entire first term. The president’s overall job approval rating stood at 46 percent, while 52 percent said they disapprove of the overall job he is doing in the White House.