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Trump's Approval Rating Slumps Amid Coronavirus Fallout

The nation's opinion of President Trump and his handling of the coronavirus pandemic are now on a downward turn, as the economy slumps and the death toll mounts in the virus's wake.

While Trump enjoyed a short-lived approval ratings bump in March at the onset of the outbreak, an aggregation of recent opinion polls show the public's approval of his job performance and specific handling of the coronavirus is slipping.

From March 29 to April 8, the number of Americans who disapprove of Trump's job performance grew by 5.2% , with slightly more than half of those surveyed expressing disapproval of his operation.

When it comes to his grasp of the coronavirus pandemic, more Americans now disapprove 48.9% — than approve — 46.8% — of Trump's job performance, according to data from March 24 to April 7. That is a 2.1% increase.

The COVID-19 outbreak is a significant test of Trump's leadership skills and comes in the middle of an election year. Not only does he face re-election, but 435 congressional seats, dozens of Senate spots and several gubernatorial mansions are on the line.

The United States is in the thick of a spread of the virus that has already killed over 18,000 people in the country, as of Friday afternoon, with tens of thousands more expected to succumb to its effects.

Experts have warned that it will take aggressive measures like ramped-up contact tracing and continued social distancing— the practice of limiting a person's physical time spent to those in their immediate households— to contain the outbreak.

Still, Dr. Anthony Fauci, a leading infectious disease expert and member of the White House coronavirus task force, on Thursday offered a brighter prediction on the virus's possible effects, lowering the estimated death toll to around 60,000 deaths, from previous forecasts of 100,000 to 200,000 U.S. lives lost.

Fauci attributed the improved projection on the country's embrace of social distancing rules and more tangible data collection tracking the virus's spread.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Alana Wise joined WAMU in September 2018 as the 2018-2020 Audion Reporting Fellow for Guns & America. Selected as one of 10 recipients nationwide of the Audion Reporting Fellowship, Alana works in the WAMU newsroom as part of a national reporting project and is spending two years focusing on the impact of guns in the Washington region.
Alana Wise
Alana Wise is a politics reporter on the Washington desk at NPR.