President Donald Trump is enjoying his best approval rating in three years amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a closely-watched polling average.
The FiveThirtyEight tracker puts Trump’s average approval rating at 44.7 percent, its highest since March 12, 2017, which was day 52 into his presidency. Trump’s average disapproval rating is currently at 50.5 percent, its best figure since March 16, 2017, day 56 into his presidency.
The president still comes out with a net negative rating, however, of minus 5.8 percent.
His approval numbers have improved markedly in recent days, correlating with a greater federal response to the new coronavirus outbreak and a $2 trillion stimulus package to support the economy, which is set to pass the Senate on Wednesday.
There are delays in testing people for the COVID-19 disease caused by this new strain of coronavirus, and the president had initially played down the pandemic’s seriousness by comparing it to the seasonal flu.
Some state and local officials have complained about a lack of urgently-needed medical supplies. They want the federal government to use its powers under the Defense Production Act to take total control of the supply chain so it can manage the distribution of resources.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, a Democrat, said his state was recently outbid on protective equipment by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“It is a challenge,” Beshear said on Tuesday, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported. “The federal government says ‘states, you need to go find your supply chain’ and then the federal government ends up buying from that supply chain.”
But Trump argues private companies are better positioned to manage supplies and are dramatically increasing their production of various essential items. “We’re a country not based on nationalizing our business,” Trump said at a press briefing on Sunday. “Call a person over in Venezuela; ask them how did nationalization of their businesses work out? Not too well. The concept of nationalizing our business is not a good concept.”
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