PRESIDENT Donald Trump’s approval rating has dropped among voters as the coronavirus death toll in the US continues to rise.
A poll conducted by Reuters/Ipsos earlier this week found that 41 percent of registered voters in the US approved of Trump’s job as president — which is down four points from a similar poll in April.
The poll, released on Tuesday, found that 56 percent of registered voters disapprove of Trump, which is up five points in that same time frame.
Trump is now eight percentage points behind Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, according to the poll.
Of those polled, 46 percent of registered voters said they would support Biden in November — while just 38 percent said they would vote for Trump in the 2020 election.
As for Trump’s handling of the pandemic, voters who disapprove of the way the president has done things outnumber those who approve of his job performance by 13 percentage points.
Trump has repeatedly defended his administration’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
In recent weeks, he’s pushed for states and local economies to reopen — despite pushback from public health officials saying it will allow the virus to spread further.
The president initially downplayed the threat of the coronavirus, and in March, told the nations to “just stay calm” as the virus would soon “go away.”
The Washington Post reported in April that Trump repeatedly ignored warnings from health officials about the impact the virus could have on the US.
He was reportedly told during the President's Daily Brief, which includes a summary of reports from intelligence agencies, more than 12 times in Janaury and February of the scale of the virus worldwide.
Trump was also reportedly told that China "was suppressing information" about the contagious nature of the virus and seemed to be providing inaccurate information about their case numbers and death tolls.
On January 31, Trump implemented travel restrictions on those coming in from China.
It temporarily barred entry by foreign nationals who had traveled in China within the previous 14 days, with exceptions for the immediate family of US citizens and permanent residents.
Officials reportedly said that deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger urged the US to cut off air travel from Europe in February — but Trump didn’t act until March.
The virus was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11, which is the same day Trump declared a national emergency and announced the European travel ban.
The president has repeatedly said that China is to blame for the virus, and has said it was the result of a "horrible mistake" after claiming he’d seen evidence the virus originated in a Wuhan lab.
"Personally, I think they made a horrible mistake, and they didn’t want to admit it,” Trump told Fox News in an interview earlier this month.
"We wanted to go in, but they didn’t want us there. They made a mistake, they tried to cover it, like a fire… They couldn’t put out the fire."
He said the US government was now putting together a “strong” report on the origins of the virus, and how the Wuhan Institute of Virology could well have been involved.
The report, he promised, would be "very conclusive".
More than 83,000 people have died from the coronavirus in the US, where more than 1.4million cases have been reported — the highest reported number of any country in the world’s 4.3million.
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