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Photo: Ric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

Most Americans approve of President Trump's handling of the novel coronavirus outbreak, and his overall approval rating has risen from 44% to 49% during the crisis, according to a Gallup poll.

Background: Trump has received criticism in the media, as well as from officials in Washington, D.C., and around the country, for downplaying the threat of the virus and for not taking stronger action to make tests available and ramp up production of necessary medical supplies.

By the numbers: 94% of Republicans approve of Trump's response to the crisis, as might be expected given his sky-high approval within the party.

  • But 60% of independents approve, compared with the 43% who approve of his overall job performance, and Democrats are twice as likely to approve of Trump's handling of the coronavirus (27%) than his leadership overall (13%).
  • Worth noting: The poll was conducted March 13–22, and opinions could change significantly given how quickly the COVID-19 crisis is developing.

Go deeper:

Methodology: The poll was conducted via telephone (both landline and cellphone) March 13–22. It had a sample size of 1,020 U.S. adults and a margin of error of ±4%.

Go deeper

Pentagon approves request for 100 National Guard troops for "Justice for J6" rally

Security fencing has been reinstalled around the Capitol. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has approved a request from Capitol Police to provide 100 D.C. National Guard troops in case law enforcement requires additional support at Saturday's "Justice for J6" rally at the Capitol.

Why it matters: Security preparations have ramped up ahead of the pro-Trump demonstration, where hundreds of protesters sympathetic to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack are expected to gather.

Biden threatens new sanctions against Ethiopian officials over Tigray conflict

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

President Biden on Friday signed an executive order allowing the Treasury and State Departments to impose sanctions against Ethiopian officials "responsible for, or complicit in, prolonging the conflict" in the Tigray region.

Driving the news: Hundreds of thousands of people are facing famine conditions in Tigray, but less than 10 percent of the needed humanitarian supplies has reached the region over the last month "due to the obstruction of aid access" by the Ethiopian government, according to Biden administration officials.

Top general: Calls to China were "perfectly within the duties" of job

Gen. Mark Milley. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley told the Associated Press on Friday that calls with his Chinese counterpart during the final months of Donald Trump's presidency were "perfectly within the duties and responsibilities" of his job.

Why it matters: In his first public comments on the calls that have prompted critics to question whether the general went too far, Milley maintained that such conversations are "routine," per AP.