Polls continue to find the public is not pleased with the response to COVID-19 by Donald Trump and his administration. Equally damaging for the White House is the increasing number of people who think Trump is not trustworthy regarding the facts of the pandemic.
As an example, troubling survey results from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research
Just 28% of Americans say they’re regularly getting information from Trump about the coronavirus and only 23% say they have high levels of trust in what the president is telling the public. Another 21% trust him a moderate amount.
What I find of high interest is a stunning development with the polling. The share of the population that finds Trump trustworthy regarding this pandemic is lower than his overall job approval number. Several polls as of late are showing this data, which is a clear siren in the night. The lack of public trust in Trump cannot be attributed only to the nation’s partisan divide. That is a light, my readers, a real light about what is brewing among the electorate.
Meanwhile, total trust for the CDC has consistently been in the 80s since the beginning of March, while mistrust has hovered in the teens. And with this polling, (which in this case being reported is a collection of all the polls to be found) showed more Americans said they were very or somewhat confident in the government than said they were not very or not at all confident. But at the same time, there is also dismal news for Trump about his lack of trustworthiness.
Trump consistently gets low grades on trust. In the average poll since the beginning of March, 43 percent of Americans say they at least somewhat trust him on the coronavirus, and 53 percent say they only trust him a little bit or not at all.
People are shaken by the crisis that has taken over the nation. They are concerned about the economic impact, and the uncertain path forward over the next year. They want a leader who can stand before the nation and be honest. They are not finding that in Trump, who has butchered facts and honesty about every issue that has come before the public in the past three years. Now when the nation needs to have confidence in a president there is no shred of credibility left in this White House. Trump might as well walk out naked before the press as he has not one ounce of integrity remaining.
Trump’s use of made-up nonsense, purposely designed misinformation, and all-out lies have left the citizens like a ship adrift in a very dark stormy sea. One does not need to trust me. Just read the facts about what Trump has done and said regarding the pandemic.
Here is a small sample.
When: Friday, February 7, and Wednesday, February 19
The claim: The coronavirus would weaken “when we get into April, in the warmer weather—that has a very negative effect on that, and that type of a virus.”
The truth: It’s too early to tell if the virus’s spread will be dampened by warmer conditions. Respiratory viruses can be seasonal, but the World Health Organization says that the new coronavirus “can be transmitted in ALL AREAS, including areas with hot and humid weather.”
When: Thursday, February 27
The claim: The outbreak would be temporary: “It’s going to disappear. One day it’s like a miracle—it will disappear.”
The truth: Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned days later that he was concerned that “as the next week or two or three go by, we’re going to see a lot more community-related cases.”
When the volumes of this pandemic are written future generations will discover not only the absurdities that were presented by the Trump White House but the sinister and daily outpouring of lies and dishonesty from the one who had the responsibility of national leadership upon his shoulders. It will be the darkest stain ever worn by any American President.
I would be remiss if I did not leave my readers with some hope. We need that more now than at any point over the past three years. In my own way, with this little blog on the internet highway, I hope to shed some uplifting mood on our current situation. But you need to also do your part.
Decades ago I bought a book that resonated at the time and over the years has registered again and again. Character Above All, which was edited by Robert Wilson, Is a collection of essays in which noted historians and journalists explore the relationship between character and presidential leadership.
Now, more than ever, the book again calls out to the nation to be read and heeded.
The book also had a series of tapes, which were sold separately, where the historians presented hour-long lectures on the president they had researched. I first listened to those tapes as I traveled on weekends to visit my folks.
It is so stunning to me that I grew up in the era of Gerald Ford–who was sworn into office when I was still in grade school–to the time when a low-educated and buffoonish personality now sits in the White House.
Ford is recalled for standing up to his lout of a father and turning away money for the honor of taking his step-dad’s name. It is a grand counterpoint to what we have witnessed over the past number of years with Trump.
The book and the riveting chapters underscore another point I often stress. The nation no longer has civics taught as it should be, nor history thematically presented so that it can be allowed to show its relevance for the lives of today’s citizens. It is incumbent on us to be ever-more determined to right this tilting ship of a nation.
One of the starting points is to be firmly planted on the proven foundations of the past. This book is a starting point. A fast read, well researched, nicely written.
We can get over this most disquieting time. But it will require an educated and determined citizenry. That is my hopeful message to you, my fellow citizens.