A new Gallup study gauging the American public’s view of the handling of the coronavirus crisis by various entities and figures found one particular group earning particularly bad marks: the news media, which was the only one on the list of nine that did not have majority approval.
“Americans are generally positive in their evaluations of how each of nine leaders and institutions has handled the response to the coronavirus situation,” Gallup explains. “Eight of the nine receive majority positive ratings — led by U.S. hospitals, at 88% approval. Only the news media gets a more negative than positive review.”
The news media was rated far worse than the CDC, Vice President Mike Pence, President Donald Trump, and even Congress, all of which had strong majority approval.
Asked, “Do you approve or disapprove of the way each of the following is handling the response to the coronavirus in the U.S.?” Americans gave by far the worse assessment of the news media. Here is the breakdown from best to worst:
- U.S. hospitals: 88% approve, 10% disapprove
- Your child’s school or daycare: 83 – 9
- Your state government: 82 -17
- Your employer: 82 – 14
- Government health agencies such as the CDC and NIH: 80 -17
- Vice President Mike Pence: 61-32
- President Donald Trump: 60 – 38
- Congress: 59 – 37
- The news media: 44 – 55
Gallup explains that the data was collected from March 13-22 Gallup poll, “with the field period starting on the same day President Donald Trump declared a national emergency over the coronavirus outbreak, and spanning sharp increases in the number of documented cases in the U.S., as well as the number of deaths.”
Trump’s 60% approval, Gallup notes, is higher than his overall job approval, which is 49%, which climbed 5 points from a few weeks ago, when it was 44%.
A large part of the negative response to the news media comes from Republicans, only 25% of whom said they approve of how it’s covering the crisis, while 61% of Democrats approved.
According to Gallup’s survey, President Trump is winning this particular round of his years-long battle with the news media, which he hammered once again this week. In a tweet Wednesday, Trump accused the media of attempting to “keep our Country closed as long as possible” for political purposes.
“The LameStream Media is the dominant force in trying to get me to keep our Country closed as long as possible in the hope that it will be detrimental to my election success,” he tweeted Wednesday. “The real people want to get back to work ASAP. We will be stronger than ever before!”
The LameStream Media is the dominant force in trying to get me to keep our Country closed as long as possible in the hope that it will be detrimental to my election success. The real people want to get back to work ASAP. We will be stronger than ever before!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 25, 2020
Trump’s tweet came the same day as Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House Coronavirus Response coordinator, called out exaggerated reporting on the coronavirus pandemic.
“I think the numbers that have been put out there are actually very frightening to people,” Dr. Birx said during a press conference on Wednesday. “But I can tell you if you go back and look at Wuhan and Hubei and all of these provinces, when they talk about 60,000 people being infected, even if you said, alright, well there’s asymptomatics and all of that, so you get to 600,000 people out of 80 million. That is nowhere close to the numbers that you see people putting out there. I think it has frightened the American people.”