- Americans trust Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo the most when it comes to official guidance on the COVID-19 outbreak, a new Insider poll showed.
- We asked respondents: “When it comes to the official advice regarding coronavirus, please rate how much you trust the following messengers on a scale on 1 to 5.”
- Fauci and Cuomo received the highest marks, and President Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin got the lowest average scores.
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Americans trust Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo the most for official information and guidance on the COVID-19 outbreak, a new Insider poll showed.
Insider asked poll respondents to rate 10 top Trump administration officials and governors on trustworthiness.
We asked respondents: “When it comes to the official advice regarding coronavirus, please rate how much you trust the following messengers on a scale on 1 to 5.”
According to our poll, 1 means strongly distrust, 2 means somewhat distrust, 3 means neither trust nor distrust, 4 means somewhat trust, and 5 means strongly trust. Participants were asked to mark “NA” if they were unfamiliar with the person.
Fauci and Cuomo received the highest marks, and President Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin got the lowest:
- Respondents gave Fauci an average score of 3.84 out of 5 for trustworthiness. He received a top score of 5 from 40% of respondents, which is nearly double what the next highest-rated person got, and 86% gave him a 3 or higher, which is vastly higher than anyone else.
- Cuomo received an average score of 3.29 out of 5. Three-quarters of respondents gave Cuomo a score of 3 or higher, and 22% gave him 5 out of 5.
- Global-health Ambassador Deborah Birx, the response coordinator of the coronavirus task force, got a score of 3.14 out of 5. About three in four respondents gave Birx a score of three or higher.
- California Gov. Gavin Newsom got an average score of 2.97 out of 5. Just shy of 70% of people gave Newsom a score of 3 or higher.
- Former Vice President Joe Biden, the frontrunner for the 2020 Democratic nomination, got an average score of 2.76out of 5. About 31% of respondents rated Biden a 4 or 5, 27% a gave him a 3 of 5, and 42% answered with a 1 or 2.
- Vice President Mike Pence was rated a 2.65out of 5 on average for trustworthiness. About one-third of respondents rated him a 1.
- Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar was rated 2.62 out of 5.
- President Donald Trump scored 2.56 out of 5 on average. Forty-four per cent of respondents rated Trump a 1 out of 5, compared with 20% who rated him a 5 out of 5. The largest group of people – 55% – rated Trump as a 1 or 2.
- Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin got the lowest score out of the 10 officials, with a rating of 2.52 out of 5 on average.
Fauci, a prominent figure in public health and the director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, has served under six presidents, starting 1984, in various capacities and was one of the leading doctors on the front lines of the AIDS crisis.
Fauci has consistently been one of the most public-facing and trusted voices on the coronavirus crisis – often appearing at odds with the White House’s more optimistic messaging in the process.
But Fauci’s blunt explanation of the strict scientific facts, calm but no-nonsense demeanour, and subtle sense of humour both in White House briefings and in congressional hearings have garnered him rave reviews from the public and made him a household name.
And while Cuomo was previously considered a somewhat divisive figure in New York politics and known for his incessant feuding with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, respondents felt he’s risen to the occasion during the pandemic.
As the governor of one of the hardest-hit states, Cuomo has been praised for massively expanding New York’s testing capacity, aggressively combating the virus with business closures and social distancing, and his daily PowerPoint pep talks to New Yorkers in his press conferences.
In Cuomo’s daily coronavirus press briefing on Thursday, Cuomo said that he speaks frequently to Fauci about the crisis facing New York, describing him as “brilliant” and “kind.”
“Dr. Fauci has been so kind and helpful to me,” Cuomo said. “Dr. Fauci is brilliant at this and he is so personally kind. I call him late at night, I call him in the middle of the night, he’s really been a friend to me personally and the state of New York.”
SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn’t try to weigh its sample based on race or income. A total of 1,136 respondents were collected on March 25 with a margin of error plus or minus 3 percentage points and a 95% confidence level.