Less Than 20 Percent of Americans Would Take a COVID Vaccine if Trump Said It Was Safe

Not even 20 percent of Americans are willing to take a COVID-19 vaccine if President Donald Trump were to say it was safe.

New polling by Axios-Ipsos, published Tuesday, showed that just 19 percent of Americans would be very or somewhat likely to take a vaccine for the coronavirus if Trump vouched for its safety. However, a majority of respondents (62 percent) said they would take the vaccine if their doctor said it was safe, while 56 percent said they would if the cost was entirely covered by their health insurance.

Trump critics have repeatedly raised concerns that the president is attempting to politicize the vaccine development process in hopes of getting one approved ahead of the November 3 election. Although the president has said multiple times that he believes a vaccine could be ready by the end of October, top health officials within his administration have said a candidate is more likely to be approved by the end of November or late December. Meanwhile, government regulators and the pharmaceutical companies developing vaccines have come out with statements assuring the public that they will be guided by only science and will release vaccine that is safe.

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump speaks on coronavirus testing in the Rose Garden of the White House on September 28. A new poll says 19 percent of Americans would be very or somewhat likely to take a vaccine for the coronavirus if Trump vouched for its safety. MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty

The new poll shows that trust in the White House and the president is extremely low when it comes to providing accurate information about the ongoing pandemic. Only 9 percent of respondents said they had a "great deal" of trust in Trump, while just 6 percent said the same for the White House as an institution. An additional 18 percent said they had a "fair amount" of trust in Trump, bringing the total who said they trust the president to just 27 percent. Overall trust in the White House was slightly higher, at 28 percent.

Conversely, nearly half (47 percent) of respondents said they trust Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to provide them with accurate information about the coronavirus outbreak. More than half (53 percent) said they still have trust that their state government will look out for their best interests, while 62 percent said the same for the Food and Drug Administration, which would need to approve a vaccine.

Despite the low trust in Trump and the White House for accurate information about the virus outbreak, the president's overall approval rating appears relatively stable. According to the FiveThirtyEight average of national polls, about 43.7 percent of Americans approve of Trump, while 52.5 percent disapprove. The president's approval rating has consistently hovered around 40 percent since he took office in 2017.