15:57 GMT28 September 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Approval ratings for US President Donald Trump have gradually slipped in recent months amid mounting concern over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and his public statements about the disease, a new Monmouth University poll revealed on Tuesday.

    "President Donald Trump’s job rating has ticked down again amid a sense he changes what he says about the coronavirus from day to day," a press release explaining the poll said. "The Monmouth University Poll finds widespread concern about the country reopening too quickly rather than too slowly with most Americans prioritizing public health over the economy in lifting current restrictions."

    In February, before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, Trump’s favorability rating was 44 percent to 50 percent, some of the highest levels recorded during his presidency, compared with 43 percent in the latest Monmouth poll, with 51 percent disapproval.

    "The month-to-month shifts are well within the poll’s margin of error, but the overall trendline suggests that the public is growing less satisfied with Trump’s response to the pandemic," Monmouth Polling Institute Director Patrick Murray said in the release.

    Murray pointed out that it is difficult to look at the briefing transcripts and not see inconsistency from one day to the next.

    "These poll results are just another reminder of how people filter information to reframe some facts and dismiss others in order to maintain their own internal consistency when it comes to perceptions of Trump," Murray said.

    When presented with a potential situation where the president and CNN provide conflicting information about the coronavirus outbreak, 51 percent of Americans say they would be more likely to believe the cable network and 38 percent would be more likely to believe Trump. Another 8 percent volunteer that they would not believe either source and 2 percent say they would trust both equally, the release said.

    If conflicting information was presented by Trump and Fox News, 34 percent of the public would believe Fox and 33 percent would believe Trump. Another 25 percent volunteer they would not believe both sources and 5 percent say they would trust both equally, the release added.

    When it comes to reopening the country - a position lately advocated by Trump - 63 percent are afraid of the economy opening too quickly compared with 29 percent who worry about not resuming economic activity quickly enough, according to the release.

    pandemic, COVID-19, polls, Donald Trump
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