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Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note ±3.3% margin of error for the total sample size; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Americans believe the federal government's handling of the pandemic has gotten significantly worse over time, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: Every other institution measured in Week 29 of our national poll — from state and local governments to people's own employers and area businesses — won positive marks for improving their responses since those panicked early days in March and April.

  • The findings suggests people see President Trump and his political team as one of the biggest impediments to turning things around.
  • With one week left in the presidential election, as the U.S. hits all-time daily highs for new cases, four in five Americans say they're worried about COVID-19 outbreaks.

By the numbers: 26% of Americans said the federal government's handling of the virus is better than it was at the beginning, but 46% say it's actually gotten worse (and another 27% saw no change), for a net deficit of 20 percentage points.

  • Barely half of Republicans said the federal government's handling has improved while one in five said it has gotten worse. Only one in 10 Democrats and one in four independents said it improved.
  • Those sentiments fit with other measures in the survey: 62% said the federal government is making the country's recovery worse, an assessment essentially unchanged since the summer. And just one-third of respondents trust the federal government to provide them with accurate information about the virus.

Between the lines: Concerns are directed more at the political arm of the federal government than at scientists.

  • On its own, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention won net positive ratings (+10) — 33% said it improved it's handling, while 23% said it declined and the rest saw no change.

What they're saying: The coronavirus "is the issue of this election," said Cliff Young, president of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs.

  • "People are just looking around at the facts on the ground and at the end of the day there's been no coordinated response to the coronavirus at the national level."
  • At the local level, by contrast, people see "specific, concrete things" like stickers on the ground for social distancing at stores where they shop, or modifications to schooling.
  • "When they think of the federal government, they're just thinking of the overall mess. There's no end in sight. The number of cases are only increasing."

Methodology: This Axios/Ipsos Poll was conducted Oct. 23-26, 2020, by Ipsos’ KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,079 general population adults age 18 or older.

  • The margin of sampling error for the full sample is +/- 3.3 percentage points.

Go deeper

22 hours ago - Health

WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release"

A medical syringe and vial with fake coronavirus vaccine in front of the World Health Organization (WHO) logo. Photo Illustration: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Top scientists at the World Health Organization on Friday called for more detailed information on a coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.

Why it matters: Oxford and AstraZeneca have said the vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses. AstraZeneca has since acknowledged that the smaller dose received by some participants was the result of an error by a contractor, per the New York Times.

In photos: Black Friday shopping across the U.S.

Customers shop at Macys on Nov. 27 in New York City. Photo: Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images

Many Americans braved shopping malls and department stores to shop in-person on Black Friday.

Why it matters: Coronavirus infections are still on the rise across much of the U.S. during a season of travel and holiday gatherings. Hospitals across the country, especially in rural areas, are still overwhelmed.

Updated 21 hours ago - Sports

NFL reschedules Thanksgiving matchup for second time due to COVID outbreak

Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images

The NFL has once again postponed a Baltimore Ravens-Pittsburgh Steelers matchup originally scheduled for primetime on Thanksgiving day due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

Why it matters: It's the first time the league has had to scrap a game since October, as the U.S. copes with another surge in coronavirus infections heading into the holidays.