Jun 29, 2020 - Health

Poll: 30% of Americans say they trust Trump to get facts right on coronavirus


Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

30% of Americans say they trust President Trump and his administration to "get the facts right" on the coronavirus — a lower mark than respondents gave the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (64%), their state governments (53%), local news (50%) and the news media in general (44%), according to a Pew Research Center poll released Monday.

Why it matters: As the coronavirus surges in states across the country, the largely mistrusted White House has been forced to step back into the spotlight. Vice President Mike Pence hosted his first coronavirus press briefing in weeks on Friday and appeared on CBS News' Face the Nation on Sunday, where he disputed that the new surge is a result of states reopening too quickly.

Between the lines: Trust in these sources of information breaks down largely along party lines.

  • 54% of Republicans say Trump and the White House get the facts right at least most of the time, compared to just 9% of Democrats.
  • Meanwhile, 60% of Democrats say they trust the news media in general on coronavirus, compared to 25% of Republicans.
  • Despite its early missteps, the CDC earned consistently high marks, with 76% support from Democrats and 51% from Republicans.

Conspiracy theories are further dirtying the waters when it comes to trust in coronavirus information.

  • According to Pew, "71% of Americans say they have heard at least “a little” about a conspiracy theory that the coronavirus outbreak was intentionally planned by powerful people, including 19% who say they have heard “a lot” about this."
  • "Of those who have heard at least something about it, 36% say it is 'definitely' or 'probably' true," Pew notes.
  • Both Republicans and Democrats have heard of the conspiracy theory that the pandemic was planned, but the survey shows Republicans are more likely to believe it.

Those who are most reliant on Trump for information are also more likely to believe that the coronavirus outbreak has been exaggerated (68%) compared to those who rely on any of the other four sources polled (33%).

Methodology: Pew surveyed 9,654 U.S. adults from June 4-10, 2020, with a margin of error of plus or minus 1.6 percentage points.

Go deeper