Don’t rush reopening economy, voters say in poll that favors governors over Trump

Posted May 05, 2020

Preventing the spread of the coronavirus should be the priority over preventing an extended economic downturn, according to a poll released Tuesday.

And Americans were more concerned states would start reopening their economies too soon rather than not quickly enough, according to the Monmouth University Poll.

The survey was conducted as several governors began to let businesses closed during the pandemic reopen their doors.

Not Gov. Phil Murphy, though. “We’ve got to do it responsibly, we’ve got to do it safely, and we are committed to that,” he said Tuesday at his daily coronavirus press conference.

In the poll, 63% of Americans said they were more concerned that states would move too quickly, while 29% said they worried that they would be too slow.

In addition, 56% said the more important factor should be making sure as few people as possible get infected, with 33% saying economic concerns should be the top priority.

And 59% said state actions in response to the pandemic were appropriate, compared with 22% who said they had not gone far enough and 17% who said they went too far.

Governors received praise for how they were handing the pandemic, with 73% saying they were doing a good job and 22% said they were doing a bad job. Views of federal health agencies were 63% positive and 25% negative.

By contrast, only 42% said President Donald Trump was doing a good job handling the coronavirus while 51% saying he was doing a bad job. And by 42% to 33%, Americans said Trump’s advise was harmful rather than helpful, with another 23% saying it was neither.

“People are looking for a steady hand in a crisis," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

“State officials and public health professionals have largely been consistent in their approach to the pandemic. This is one reason why satisfaction with their response has been high and stable throughout, unlike views of the president’s actions.”

The poll of 808 adults was conducted April 30-May 4 with a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

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