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Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note: ±3.3% margin of error; Chart: Axios Visuals

Large shares of women, seniors and independents now say they're less likely to trust President Trump for accurate information about COVID-19 since he caught it himself, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

The big picture: Week 28 of our national survey has most Americans rejecting ideas that Trump has floated around hydroxychloriquine as a virus treatment, how herd immunity works or any imminent availability of a vaccine.

  • Eight in 10 fear local cases will rise and force new lockdowns and business closures.
  • Three-fourths of respondents say attending campaign rallies is risky.
  • That's true for majorities of Republicans (54%) as well as independents (79%) and especially Democrats (93%) — and it suggests that Joe Biden's decision to scrap large events to protect the public and himself doesn't carry much political risk.

Why it matters: Trump can ill afford to lose more women, seniors or independents with two weeks until the end of the election, according to national and battleground state polls.

  • The new findings reflect how the science around coronavirus is unifying Democrats but a wedge for Republicans — and how Trump's own messaging has painted him into a corner where he must rely more and more on his base to pick up the slack for others he's alienated.

What they're saying: “It makes it very hard for Donald Trump to steer public opinion about the pandemic," said pollster Chris Jackson, senior vice president for Ipsos Public Affairs.

  • "It’s very hard for him to control the debate about COVID in any way because people have such little trust in what he says.”

By the numbers: Over the past two weeks, public opinion has turned more sharply against Trump's trustworthiness on information about the virus, from a 6 percentage point gap to 21.

  • 37% of overall respondents in the most recent survey say his diagnosis makes them less likely to trust him, while 16% say they're more likely to trust him and the rest are unchanged.
  • In the Oct. 1-5 survey, only 23% said they trusted him less and 17% said they were more likely to trust him.
  • 62% of Democrats, 44% of seniors 65 and over, 41% of women and 40% of independents — but only 11% of Republicans — said they're less likely to trust Trump's guidance now when it comes to the virus.

Between the lines: Republicans are far more likely than Democrats or independents to incorrectly believe that hydroxychloroquine was proven an effective treatment; that a vaccine would be available by election day; or that the U.S. could reach herd immunity with only a few additional deaths.

  • Republicans also are less likely to say it is true there was a pause in some trials due to safety concerns; that the virus can be spread without symptoms; or that wearing a mask limits person-to-person spread.
  • 71% of Democrats, 58% of independents and 27% of Republicans answered all six questions correctly.
  • More than one in five Republicans got half or more of the questions wrong, compared with around 7% of Democrats.
  • People with no major source of news or who primarily watch Fox News had the highest correlations to incorrect answers.

Methodology: This Axios/Ipsos Poll was conducted Oct.16–19 by Ipsos’ KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,001 general population adults age 18 or older.

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

Go deeper

Updated 21 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Highlights from Biden and Harris' first joint interview since the election

Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris sat down with CNN on Thursday for their first joint interview since the election.

The big picture: In the hour-long segment, the twosome laid out plans for responding to the pandemic, jump-starting the economy and managing the transition of power, among other priorities.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot" — The recovery needs rocket fuel.
  2. Health: CDC: It's time for "universal face mask use" — Death rates rising across the country — Study: Increased testing can reduce transmission.
  3. Economy: U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows — America's hidden depression: K-shaped recovery threatens Biden administration.
  4. Cities: Bay Area counties to enact stay-at-home order ahead of state mandate
  5. Vaccine: What vaccine trials still need to do.
  6. World: UN warns "2021 is literally going to be catastrophic"
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Former FDA chief Rob Califf on the vaccine approval process.

Romney: Trump's lack of leadership on COVID-19 is "a great human tragedy"

Sen. Mitt Romney and President Trump. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

GOP Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah) told CNN Thursday that President Trump's lack of leadership during the coronavirus pandemic is "a great human tragedy."

Driving the news: Trump has largely stayed silent on the country's worsening pandemic in recent weeks, even as the U.S. experienced a record daily death toll and hospitalizations surpassed 100,000 for the first time. Instead, the president has focused much of his public commentary on pushing baseless claims of widespread election fraud.