Americans losing faith in what Trump says about coronavirus: Poll
NEW YORK : Americans appear to be losing faith in what President Donald Trump says about the coronavirus pandemic, with almost everyone rejecting Mr Trump's remark that Covid-19 may be treated by injecting infected people with bleach or other disinfectants, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday.
The April 27-28 public opinion poll found that fewer than half of all adults in the US - 47 per cent - said they were "very" or "somewhat" likely to follow recommendations Mr Trump makes about the virus.
That is 15 percentage points lower than the number who said they would follow Mr Trump's advice in a survey that ran at the end of last month.
And 98 per cent of Americans said they would not try to inject themselves with bleach or other disinfectants if they got the coronavirus, including 98 per cent of Democrats and 98 per cent of Republicans.
That is a near-unanimous rejection of an idea that Mr Trump floated at a time of widespread anxiety about the virus.
A majority of Americans said they were concerned about how the coronavirus is spreading, according to the poll, as the number of Covid-19 cases surpassed one million in the US this week, killing more than 56,000.
Mr Trump publicly mused about the benefits of "cleaning" Covid-19 patients on the inside with disinfectants or ultraviolet light during a news conference last week, directing health officials in the room to look into it.
Medical experts immediately condemned the president's suggestion, and the makers of disinfectant products warned the public against ingesting them.
Mr Trump later tried to portray his remarks as sarcasm, but given his popularity with some Americans, health officials expressed concern his remarks could persuade some people to poison themselves.
Mr Trump's overall popularity has not changed much over the past week. Forty-three percent of Americans said they approve of his overall job performance, and the same number also approve of his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Among registered voters, 44 per cent said they would vote for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, while 40 per cent said they would back Mr Trump if the election were held today.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online, in English, throughout the United States.
It gathered responses from 1,001 adults, including 416 Democrats and 419 Republicans. - REUTERS