Most Americans think Trump's been irresponsible about COVID and can't be trusted

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Polling shows Trump's coronavirus response remains widely unpopular with a majority of Americans, many of whom say he can't be trusted even when it comes to the status of his own health.    

In a recent poll conducted by CNN between October 1-4, 60% of respondents said they disapproved of the way Donald Trump is handling the coronavirus outbreak. In the same poll, 63% of Americans surveyed said they think Trump acted irresponsibly in handling the risk of coronavirus infection to people who have been around him recently, and 57% said they disapproved of the way Trump is handling his job.

The poll comes on the heels of Trump's admittance to Walter Reed Medical Center, where he was treated with antiviral and steroid medications after being diagnosed with coronavirus last week. As the timeline of Trump's infection slowly emerged over the weekend and senior aides scrambled to figure out who else within his inner circle had been infected, the severity of Trump's illness and his course of treatment remained uncertain.

According to CNN's poll, 69% of Americans said they distrusted at least some of the information they heard from the White House regarding Trump's health since the beginning of the month.

The latest polling adds to a trend that shows a majority of Americans are unnerved by Trump's handling of coronavirus — both as it affects his own health and how his response as commander in chief has negatively impacted the country.

In an ABC News/Ipsos poll released on Sunday, 73% of those surveyed said that Trump failed to take "the risk of contracting the virus seriously enough" and the same number of respondents also said that Trump had "failed to take the appropriate precautions when it came to his personal health." In that poll, only 35% said they approved of Trump's response to the virus.

Polling aggregated by 538 shows that a majority of Americans have disapproved of Trump's response to the coronavirus since the end of April. Meanwhile, favorability toward Trump's response from independent voters has steadily declined, from a high of 45.7% in April, to just 35.1% in the latest aggregate from October.

In addition to being concerned about Trump's coronavirus response, more than 85% of Americans were worried about the economy on October 5 according to 538.

On Monday, Trump announced that he would leave Walter Reed to return to the White House, despite his departure holding the potential to further spread the deadly coronavirus to Secret Service members and White House staff.

"I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 P.M. Feeling really good! Don't be afraid of Covid. Don't let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!"

As Trump continues to flout CDC guidelines and brushes off criticism aimed at his disregard for scientifically proven containment strategies, growing mistrust among voters seems likely just weeks before the presidential election.

On Sunday, a physician at Walter Reed took to Twitter to condemn Trump's brief departure from the hospital to drive past his supporters in a hermetically sealed car with multiple Secret Service agents also inside.

"Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary Presidential 'drive-by' just now has to be quarantined for 14 days. They might get sick. They may die. For political theater. Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theater. This is insanity."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.