Almost Half of Americans Say That Presidential Coronavirus Briefings Are Not an Important Source of Information, Poll Shows

Forty-six percent of U.S. adults say that the coronavirus briefings held by President Donald Trump are not an important source of information, according to a new poll.

The poll was conducted by Gallup and the Knight Foundation and surveyed 1,693 U.S. adults from April 14 to April 20. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

According to the poll, U.S. adults were asked how important the frequent presidential coronavirus briefings were as an important source of information and found that 46 percent said it was not a source, 27 percent said it was a major source and 26 percent said it was a minor source.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Trump has held the press briefings at the White House on a fairly frequent basis to provide updates on the spread of the virus in the U.S. The briefings often feature other members of Trump's administration and White House Coronavirus Task Force including Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Brix. During the briefings Trump and his task force have discussed an array of different topics relating to the coronavirus, ranging from potential treatments to the federal government guidelines for states to begin reopening.

In one of Trump's most recent briefings, he appeared to suggest that injecting cleaning supplies and disinfecting products could pose as a coronavirus treatment. His comments sparked major backlash, after a number of states' poison control centers reported an increase in calls regarding exposure to these products. Following the backlash, Trump threatened to stop holding the briefings, but reversed his decision shortly after and held one on Monday in the White House Rose Garden.

The poll also shows results for U.S. adults with a specific political party affiliation, with a stark contrast between Republicans and Democrats.

According to the poll, a majority of Republicans, 64 percent, said that the presidential coronavirus briefings were a major source of information, while 27 percent believed that it was a minor source and only 10 percent said that it was not a source at all.

U.S. President Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump takes questions from reporters during a news conference on the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC on April 27, 2020. Mandel Ngan/Getty

On the other hand, a majority of Democrats, 71 percent, said that the presidential coronavirus briefings were not a source of information, while 23 percent said that they are a minor source and only 5 percent believed they are a major source.

A similar poll, published by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs, found that only 23 percent of U.S. adults identified Trump as their trusted source of information in regard to the novel coronavirus, compared to 52 percent of Americans that said they trust their state or local government for information.

The new coronavirus, which causes the respiratory disease COVID-19, originated in Wuhan, China, but the U.S. has continued to be the virus's epicenter. According to a tracker provided by Johns Hopkins University, there are currently over 1 million confirmed cases of the virus in the U.S. and at least 58,965 deaths. The tracker also shows that at least 116,133 have already recovered from the virus.