President Donald Trump’s detractors were in mortal shock on Friday when a new ABC News/Ipsos poll showed that a majority of 55% of Americans approve of his handling of the coronavirus crisis, compared to 43% who disapprove.
This marked a 12 percentage point jump from last week, when only 43% approved of Trump’s handling of the pandemic and 54% disapproved.
Pollsters asked Americans about the disruption that the pandemic has caused in their daily lives and how they rate Trump’s response. Participants approved of the shift in the president’s approach and tone. They also praised his daily presidential briefings on the crisis, conducted alongside the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Two-thirds of Americans are concerned they may contract the virus, according to the poll.
The media and professional presidential haters in Hollywood have been hammering Trump non-stop since the outbreak started with personal attacks, profanity, cries of racism and requests for him to “just shut up” and let the disease experts handle the crisis.
Co-host of The View Whoopi Goldberg, appearing via Skype Friday, launched into another of her monotonous attacks on Trump.
“The interesting thing about all of this is whatever channel you’re watching, you’re still watching from home. You’re watching from inside your house,” Goldberg said. “Because a pandemic has happened, and you are stuck, and whatever side you’re on, you understand that when you have leadership, you would not — you would not be stuck in your house,” she claimed.
Another virulent critic, Pulitzer prize-winning presidential historian and biographer John Meacham, appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Friday blaming the president for the shortage of critical medical supplies, like masks.
“We’ve defeated Nazi Germany. We’ve carried the idea, if not the reality, of equality throughout the world for 240 years. And we can’t make masks? Really?” he asked.
“With this concentration of wealth, with this concentration of skill, we’re going to isolate and watch these now sort of hour-and-ten, hour-and-fifteen-minute episodes of this Trump reality show he does at midday? Which is fine if it is a reality show for him, but this is our reality. It is unconscionable,” said Meacham.
“And as ever in America, by the way, the private sector, the citizens need to step forward. Because at this point, we cannot rely on the president to be a good and effective actor in this time of crisis. That’s my historical view,” he concluded.
Trump has very strong support from Americans across the country despite the daily diatribe on the news networks. He gave a morning White House press briefing Friday announcing several new initiatives and directives to manage the crisis.
“We’re accelerating the use of drug treatment,” said the president. “We’re advancing legislation to give direct payments to hardworking families. Throughout our country, Americans from all walks of life are rallying together to defeat the unseen enemy striking our nation. In times of struggle we see the true greatness of the American character. And we are seeing that, a lot of people are talking about it,” he noted.
“We’ll also temporarily waive all interest on federally-held student loans. They’ll be very happy to hear that,” he announced. “And I’ve instructed them to take that action immediately and today Secretary DeVos has directed federal lenders to allow borrowers to suspend their student loan payments without penalty for at least the next 60 days. And if we need more, we’ll extend that period of time.”
“Borrowers should contact their lenders, but we’ve given them very strong instructions. So we’ve temporarily waived all interest on federally held student loans. That’s a big thing. That will make a lot of students very happy,” the president said. “And we have more to come on student loans, more good news for the students, but we will do that at a different time.”
“With many schools closed due to the virus, the Department of Education won’t enforce standardized testing requirements, very importantly, for students in elementary through high school for the current year. They have been through a lot,” Trump said.
“They have been going back and forth. School is open, school’s not open. Suspend all standardized testing. We won’t be enforcing that, so you can let the people know. I think probably a lot of the students will be extremely happy. Some probably not. The ones that were caught maybe not, but it’s one of those things. Very unfortunate circumstance,” he said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has given bipartisan negotiators a deadline of midnight Friday to reach agreements on a sweeping stimulus package of $1 trillion or more, which would include direct payments to American workers. Law makers disagree on how much the payments should be and who should qualify.
McConnell has suggested payments of $1,200 for each adult taxpayer, with married couples eligible to receive as much as $2,400 with an additional $500 for every child. The payments would scale down for individuals who make more than $75,000 and couples that make more than $150,000. Individuals who make more than $99,000 and households that earn more than $198,000 won’t be eligible for direct assistance.