Majority of Americans report no confidence in Trump to confirm vaccine safety, effectiveness: POLL

The numbers come via an ABC News/Ipsos poll released Sunday.

September 20, 2020, 7:00 AM

As President Donald Trump continues to tout the progress of coronavirus vaccine development, going so far this week as to promise delivery to everyone in the U.S. by next spring, a majority of Americans report having no confidence at all in him to confirm the safety of a potential inoculation, according to a ABC News/Ipsos poll released Sunday.

Fewer than 1 in 10 (9%) Americans have a great deal of confidence in Trump to confirm vaccine effectiveness with another 18% reporting only a "good amount" of confidence in the poll conducted by Ipsos in partnership with ABC News using Ipsos' Knowledge Panel. In contrast, 69% don't have confidence in the president vouching for a vaccine, including 16% saying "not so much" and 53% saying "none at all."

On Friday, Trump told reporters at a press briefing that the White House "expect[s] to have enough vaccines for every American by April," a statement contradicting administration health experts, including the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who have pegged the delivery of such a vaccine to the second half of 2021.

The poll also finds fewer Americans say they are "likely" to get a "safe and effective coronavirus vaccine," compared to results from May. There was a 10-point drop (74% to 64%) in Americans who said they were either very or somewhat likely to get the vaccine -- a decrease driven nearly entirely by a decline among Republicans.

In May, 75% of Republicans reported that they were likely to get a vaccine, compared to 25% who said they were unlikely to get one. The spread is even (50%-50%) in this week's poll.

Republicans are also far more likely than Democrats to believe Trump's confirmation of vaccine safety and effectiveness, though 29% still express skepticism of the president.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden performed better than Trump on the question of confirming a vaccine's safety and effectiveness, but still received net negative results, with 41% expressing confidence and 52% a lack of confidence.

PHOTO: President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House on Sept. 16, 2020, in Washington.
President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House on Sept. 16, 2020, in Washington.
Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Health experts and public health organizations fared better than both candidates in the ABC News/Ipsos poll, with 62% reporting confidence in Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The CDC (61%), Food and Drug Administration (57%), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (53%) and World Health Organization (53%) all received net positive reports of confidence in their abilities to confirm vaccine safety and effectiveness.

Pharmaceutical companies, on the other hand, performed worse than health experts and public health organizations, with a slight majority (52%) of respondents saying they either have "not so much" confidence in the corporations or none at all.

On Wednesday, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield told the Senate Appropriations Committee that he did not foresee a coronavirus inoculation becoming "generally available" to Americans for another year. Later that day, Trump described Redfield as "confused" and said he thought Redfield made "a mistake."

Poll respondents were additionally asked who they think is "more honest and trustworthy" between Trump and Biden, regardless of who they plan to vote for. Biden received 58% to Trump's 39%.

This ABC News/Ipsos poll was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs' KnowledgePanel® Sept. 18-19, 2020, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 528 adults. Results have a margin of sampling error of 4.9 points, including the design effect. Partisan divisions are 31-25-38 percent, Democrats-Republicans-independents. See the poll's topline results and details on the methodology here.

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