As states nationwide see an uptick in coronavirus cases, so does the disapproval of Trump’s handling of the pandemic. With Election Day a mere four months away, nearly 6 in 10 voters gave the president negative marks, according to the latest poll conducted by Politico/Morning Consult.
The survey found that Trump’s job approval dropped to 39 percent, with almost 60 percent of voters disapproving. At the beginning of June, 41 percent of voters approved of the president’s job performance, while 55 percent disapproved.
The poll results come just as former Vice President Joe Biden reaches out to voters and has a double-digit lead in several key swing states.
Sixty-three percent of voters want the government to make controlling the spread of the coronavirus a priority over the economy, and more than three-quarters of voters say social distancing should continue regardless of the effect on the economy. More than 8 in 10 voters, 77 percent of which identify as Republican, say a second wave of coronavirus is likely.
The poll found sinking voter optimism as well, with 75 percent of respondents saying that the country is headed in the wrong direction.
The poll reveals that fears of the pandemic and fading consumer confidence among those with more disposable income may threaten the sudden economic recovery Trump and his top economic advisers have predicted as states began to reopen.
MORE ON THE PANDEMIC
Reopening plans in several states have been put on the back burner as surges in new coronavirus infections have hit at least 19 states. New Jersey and Rhode Island are the only two U.S. states that are showing a downward trend compared to last week. Many health experts warn that as the holiday weekend approaches, we could be looking at “the perfect storm” for a spike in new cases.
Pharmaceutical companies are racing to find a suitable vaccine for Covid-19. One drug, remdesivir, has shown much promise in speeding up recovery time in infected patients. Early this week, the government announced that the Trump administration had struck a deal with the drug maker, Gilead Sciences, to buy the drug for Americans. The Department of Health and Human Services said Trump has bought 100% of the company’s July production capacity and 90% of its August and September capacity. This move is drawing sharp criticism worldwide, warning that type of behavior sets a dangerous precedent for other countries to secure lifesaving treatments amid the pandemic.
Late Tuesday, the Senate voted to extend the small business coronavirus relief program through August 8. Of the $600 billion subsidy program, about $130 billion remains available to businesses hurt by the coronavirus pandemic. The extension of the Payroll Protection Program, passed just as the Senate prepares to go home for a two-week recess, must still pass the House and be signed by the president.
Earlier this week, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis eliminated the entire $29.4 million budget for a collection of online education services that have become critical tools for students and faculty during the pandemic outbreak. The Complete Florida Plus Program is a suite of technology systems that faculty, staff and students throughout Florida have used for remote learning. The cuts also include access to online courses and an online library service that provides 17 million books to 1.3 million students, faculty and staff of high schools, state colleges and universities.
DeSantis’ office declined further inquiries and deferred questions about the budget cut to the Department of Education.
NPC International, the largest U.S. franchisee of Pizza Hut, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company that operates more than 1,200 Pizza Huts and nearly 400 Wendy’s restaurants, was struggling with close to $1 billion in debt pre-pandemic. NPC International is the latest company to file for bankruptcy. Chuck E. Cheese, rental car company Hertz, J. Crew and J.C. Penney have all done the same in recent weeks.
United Airlines is set to triple its total number of flights it flew last month, scheduling nearly 25,000 domestic and international flights in August. Travel demand remains low compared to the same time last year as coronavirus cases continue to surge across the country.