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More Americans approve of President Trump than the news media on handling of coronavirus


Serious credibility issues for the media

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

A majority of Americans polled approve of President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus outbreak, while most also say they disapprove of how the news media have handled the crisis, according to a Gallup poll.

What the numbers show: The poll asked respondents their opinion about nine different entities, and whether they approve or disapprove of how those entities have handled the situation.

The most approved-of entities were hospitals (88%), children's schools or daycares (83%), the state government and your employer (both 82%), and government health agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Health (80%).

"Americans are largely approving of how U.S. institutions and leaders are responding to the coronavirus situation," Gallup's Justin McCarthy wrote. "Hospitals are held in the highest regard during this health crisis, consistent with the high trust and ethical ratings medical and health workers receive in normal times."

After that, there is a significant drop in approval rating to Vice President Mike Pence (61%), President Trump (60%) and Congress (59%). Then there's another drop-off to get to the news media — the only entity listed that has a higher disapproval rating than approval rating.

Only 44% of respondents approve of the news media's response to coronavirus, while 55% disapprove.

Partisan differences: Democrats who responded to the poll were much more likely to approve of the news media than Republicans. The poll showed that 61% of Democrats or Democratic-leaning respondents approved of the news media's response to coronavirus, while only 25% of Republicans or Republican-leaning respondents approved.

There are, predictably, even wider gaps between political parties on the approval of Trump and Pence; 93% of Republican respondents approve of Trump compared to 29% of Democrats, and 88% of Republicans approve of Pence compared to 36% of Democrats.

About the poll: A random selection of 1,020 adults representing all 50 states and Washington, D.C. were polled by telephone between March 13 and March 22.

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