Trump hits historic 52 percent approval as coronavirus looms

President Donald Trump’s approval rating hit a historic 52% in the Rasmussen daily tracking poll on Tuesday. He scored five points higher than former President Barack Obama’s approval rating at the same point in his presidency.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey also finds Trump earning 50% support among likely U.S. voters if Vermont’s Independent Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders becomes the Democratic Party’s nominee.  Sanders get support from 43% percent of voters while seven percent (7%) are undecided.

“The incumbent president wins 84% of the Republican vote and leads 49% to 39% among voters not affiliated with either major party. Sanders captures 75% of Democrats, but nearly one-in-four Democratic voters (22%) opt for Trump instead, “according to the report.

The president has been under sustained attack from Democrats, The Resistance and the media since he took office in 2016. He has battled multiple criminal investigations for his entire presidency. He was declared innocent last March after a special counsel investigation into accusations he colluded with Russians to steal the presidency. He survived a December impeachment based on claims he was colluding with Ukraine to steal the 2020 election, winning an acquittal in January.

He is now facing another crucial test, perhaps his most challenging, a global coronavirus pandemic that experts predict will hit the U.S. as he vies for reelection in November — the timing could not be worse. Democrats are already weaponizing the outbreak for political leverage as they battle various factions in the party to find a viable 2020 presidential candidate.

Sixty Americans are currently battling the virus, but Trump said the U.S. is “very, very ready” for whatever the COVID-19 outbreak brings at a White House news conference on Wednesday.

“We have in quarantine those infected and those at risk.  We have a lot of great quarantine facilities.  We’re rapidly developing a vaccine … The vaccine is coming along well,” he said. “And in speaking to the doctors, we think this is something that we can develop fairly rapidly, a vaccine for the future, and coordinate with the support of our partners.  We have great relationships with all of the countries that we’re talking about.”

His political enemies are ramping up their attacks on the president, hoping the pandemic will finally create a path to the White House that has been an uphill climb in the midst of a burgeoning economy and job market.

New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer criticized the administration’s request for $2.5 billion to combat the virus on Wednesday, saying it wasn’t enough. He urged Congress to approve $8.5 billion.

“With no plan to deal with the potential public and global health crisis related to the novel coronavirus, the Trump administration made an emergency supplemental appropriations request on Monday,” Schumer said in a statement. “It was too little and too late — only $1.25 billion in new funding. For context, Congress appropriated more than $6B for the Pandemic Flu in 2006 and more than $7B for H1N1 flu in 2009.”

 California Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday, “I don’t think the president knows what he’s talking about” when it comes to fighting the virus.

“For almost two years, the Trump Administration has left critical positions in charge of managing pandemics at the National Security Council and the Department of Homeland Security vacant. His most recent budget called for slashing funding for the Centers for Disease Control, which is on the frontlines of this emergency,” Pelosi said.

“I think Speaker Pelosi is incompetent. I think she’s not thinking about the country,” Trump said at the White House Wednesday when asked about Pelosi’s statement.

“Instead of making a statement like that where I’ve been beating her routinely at everything, instead of making a statement like that, she should be saying we have to work together because we have a big problem potentially and maybe it’s going to be a very little problem,” Trump said.

“He [Schumer] goes out and says the president only asks for $2.5 million. He should have $8.5 billion. This is the first time I’ve ever been told we should take more, usually it’s we have to take less,” the president said.

“He shouldn’t be making statements like that because it’s so bad for the country, and Nancy Pelosi, she should go back to her district — clean it up. I’m just saying, we should all be working together. She’s trying to create a panic and there’s no reason to panic because we have done so good,” he asserted.

“All they’re trying to do is get a political advantage. This isn’t about political advantage, we’re all trying to do the right thing. They shouldn’t be saying this is terrible, President Trump isn’t asking for enough money. How stupid a thing to say?

Trump is urging calm, insisting that a widespread U.S. outbreak of the respiratory virus isn’t inevitable. He has assigned Vice President Mike Pence to take charge of coordinating the administration’s response.