Republicans trust Trump more than the CDC for accurate info on the coronavirus, a new poll shows

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a news briefing on the administration's response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak as U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci listen at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 21, 2020.

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U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a news briefing on the administration’s response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak as U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci listen at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 21, 2020.
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REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
  • President Donald Trump is trusted more among Republicans (90%) for accurate info on the coronavirus pandemic than the CDC (84%), a new CBS News/YouGov poll found.
  • Overall, a majority of Americans (56%) said they don’t trust Trump for accurate information on coronavirus.
  • Trump has repeatedly spread false information on the coronavirus, and downplayed the threat for weeks.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Republicans trust President Donald Trump for accurate info on the coronavirus pandemic more than the nation’s leading public health agency, according to a CBS News/YouGov poll released on Tuesday.

Americans were asked: Who do you trust and not trust to give you accurate information about the virus and what to do during the outbreak?

The poll found 90% of Republicans said they trust Trump for accurate info, compared to 84% who said the same about the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Republicans said they trusted medical professionals about as much as they trust the president. Meanwhile, just 14% of Democrats said they trust Trump on coronavirus, while 86% said they don’t trust him.

Comparatively, a majority of Americans (56%) said they don’t trust Trump for accurate info on coronavirus, while 44% said they do trust him. The poll found 82% of Americans trust the CDC, and 88% trust medical professionals. Though governors like Andrew Cuomo of New York have been widely praised for their approach to the pandemic, more Americans said they trust family and friends (73%) than “your governor” (66%).

A majority of Americans (57%) also said they do not trust the national media for accurate info about the virus, while 43% said they do trust it.

Trump has repeatedly spread false or misleading info as the coronavirus pandemic has escalated (and well before the World Health Organization declared it a pandemic).

Unable to hold the political rallies he’s become known for as president, Trump now uses daily White House press briefings on coronavirus to reach out to his base. The briefings have repeatedly gone off the rails, with Trump attacking reporters while spreading false or potentially dangerous info, such as touting a possible treatment for coronavirus that has not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

The president also downplayed the threat of coronavirus for weeks, and has been widely criticized by public health experts over his response. Ashish Jha, the head of Harvard’s Global Health Institute, recently told Insider that Trump should “stop talking” and allow the experts on his coronavirus task force to take the lead.

With major cities in the US essentially on lockdown and nonessential businesses shuttered, Trump this week has pushed for the US to reopen the economy. On Tuesday, Trump said he wants the US “just raring to go” by Easter, which is April 12. But public health experts, including officials on Trump’s team like Dr. Anthony Fauci, have warned that attempting to rush the US back to normal could exacerbate the pandemic here.

The World Health Organization on Tuesday said the US could potentially become the new epicenter of the pandemic, citing a “very large acceleration” in infections. More than 55,000 coronavirus cases have been reported across all 50 states and Washington, DC.