Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe the U.S. is handling the Covid-19 pandemic worse than other countries, according to a new NPR/Ipsos poll released on the same day President Donald Trump downplayed the U.S.’s poor worldwide standing on Covid-19 in a new interview and claimed the U.S. is doing better “than the world” in “numerous categories.”
President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference about his administration’s response to the … [+]
The poll found a majority of Americans support the government taking stronger nationwide Covid-19 measures, with 65% believing the U.S. is managing the pandemic worse than other countries, including 41% who say it’s handling the pandemic “much worse,” while only 25% believe the U.S. is managing it better.
67% support a nationwide Covid-19 strategy, which Trump said in July—more than four months into the pandemic—that his administration was “in the process of developing”, and most Americans support a single national strategy for reopening schools and businesses.
Trump—whose comments on the pandemic are distrusted by a majority of Americans, other polls have found—downplayed the U.S.’s poor worldwide standing in Covid-19 cases and deaths in an interview with Axios released Monday night, falsely claiming it is only because the U.S. is “so much better at testing than any other countries in the world.”
A majority of Americans support strong measures to slow the spread, including government funding to expand free Covid-19 testing (85%), state laws requiring wearing a mask “in public at all times” (76%), a temporary ban on interstate travel (55%) and federal funding for manufacturing personal protective equipment and testing supplies and distributing an eventual vaccine to all Americans (83%).
59% support a mandatory shelter-at-home order for two weeks, and the same percentage believe the government should provide Americans with a stipend to make that possible.
“United States is lowest in numerous categories. We’re lower than the world, we’re lower than Europe,” Trump told Axios’s Jonathan Swan. When Swan pointed out that he was “talking about death as a proportion of population,” where “the U.S. is really bad” compared with countries like South Korea and Germany, Trump responded, “You can’t do that.”
4,718,249: The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the U.S. as of August 4, as reported by Johns Hopkins University—making up more than 25% of the 18,317,520 cases confirmed worldwide.
The support for increased Covid-19 measures comes as Americans have broadly resisted rushed measures to reopen the country, with polling throughout the pandemic finding that a majority support lockdown measures and are afraid of the country reopening too soon. Those views, however, stand in stark contrast to much of the messaging by Trump and his Republican gubernatorial allies. The president has declined to impose a nationwide lockdown and openly called to “slow the testing down,” while GOP governors in hard-hit states have resisted reimposing lockdowns—and, in some states, mask-wearing mandates—amid rising case counts. Experts have pushed for reimposing lockdowns as cases have surged, with more than 150 medical experts and other professionals urging the government in July to “shut it down now and start over” by implementing stay-at-home orders and banning interstate travel. “If you don’t take these actions, the consequences will be measured in widespread suffering and death,” the signatories wrote.