As President Donald Trump remains hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after contracting COVID-19 this week, nearly 3 out of every 4 Americans doubt that he took seriously the threat posed to his well-being nor the steps necessary to avoid contracting the virus, according to a new ABC News/Ipsos poll released Sunday.
In two separate questions, an identical 72% said that Trump did not take the "risk of contracting the virus seriously enough," nor "the appropriate precautions when it came to his personal health." The poll was conducted by Ipsos in partnership with ABC News using Ipsos' Knowledge Panel on Friday and Saturday, following Trump's positive test early Friday morning.
In each of the two questions, over 2 in 5 (43%) Republicans hold the negative sentiments about Trump's mindset and preventative actions regarding the coronavirus, compared to 95% and 94% of Democrats, respectively.
On Saturday, shortly after a press briefing in which the president's team of doctors said that he was "doing very well” and in “exceptionally good spirits," a "source familiar with the president's health" provided the White House press pool with a starker picture.
Trump's "vitals over last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care," the source said.
Americans are split evenly, 50%-50% on whether Trump "will or will not be able to effectively handle his duties as president if there is a military or national security crisis" during his illness, with 90% of Republicans expressing confidence in the president.
In the wake of Trump's diagnosis, the survey also found an increasing number of Americans concerned that they, or someone they know, will be infected with the virus. Eighty-one percent are either very or somewhat concerned about contracting COVID-19, compared to 72% two weeks ago. The percentage of "very concerned" respondents rose 8 percentage points, from 29% to 37%.
The overall jump can be almost entirely attributed to Republicans, whose net concern increased 18 points (52% to 70%), and independents, whose concern increased 13 points (69% to 82%). Democrats held steady at 86%.
Approval for the president's handling of the pandemic remained steady at 35%, where it has held since early July.
Republicans continue to bolster that rating with over 3 in 4 (76%) registering their approval of Trump's response, compared to 33% of independents and 6% of Democrats.
This ABC News/Ipsos poll was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs‘ KnowledgePanel® Oct. 2 to 3, 2020, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 506 adults. Results have a margin of sampling error of 5.0 points, including the design effect. Partisan divisions are 30%-25%-37%, Democrats-Republicans-independents. See the poll’s topline results and details on the methodology here.