Only 9 Percent of Americans Have Confidence in Trump Vouching for Vaccine Effectiveness, Poll Says

An overwhelming majority of Americans have no confidence or trust in President Donald Trump to verify the safety of any coronavirus vaccine, a new ABC News/Ipsos poll shows.

Only a single-digit percentage of U.S. adults, 9 percent, said they have a great deal of confidence in Trump's ability—or intention—to confirm the effectiveness of a COVID-19 vaccine. Sixty-nine percent of Americans in the poll released Sunday said they don't have any confidence in Trump's endorsement of the vaccine.

Only 18 percent of Americans said they have a "good amount" of confidence in a vaccine promoted by Trump. A slight majority of Americans—53 percent—reported their amount of confidence in Trump pushing a COVID-19 vaccine to be "none at all."

Trump announced Friday that a vaccine will be ready "some time in October," but the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it would likely not be widely available until mid-2021.

Americans' trust they could receive a "safe and effective coronavirus vaccine" has actually decreased since May, along with the amount of people who say they would volunteer to receive an inoculation.

Republican respondents in the ABC News/Ipsos poll were one group where there was a sharp drop in people willing to receive a vaccination. In May, 75 percent of GOP voters said they were likely to get a vaccine if and when it became available, but that has now fallen a full one-quarter to 50 percent in this week's poll. Conversely, 50 percent of Republican voters say they are unlikely to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Republicans are far more likely to trust the president's word about the safety or effectiveness of a coronavirus vaccine than Democrats. But about one-third, or 29 percent, said they are still skeptical of Trump's views on the issue which has become a crucial part of his re-election campaign.

According to a series of interviews taped by longtime political journalist Bob Woodward, Trump knew coronavirus was highly contagious and deadly early on. But the president downplayed the seriousness of coronavirus to the American public, which he later justified as an attempt to prevent chaos. Writing in his new book Rage, Woodward described the president telling him, "This is deadly stuff," on February 7—weeks before cases emerged in the United States.

The White House last week defended Trump's response to the coronavirus dating back to last spring. "He makes clear he doesn't want to see chaos. This president does what good leaders do," spokesman Kayleigh McEnany said.

Trump's Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, doesn't fare much better than the president in terms of American public trust in his word on a vaccine. Only 41 percent expressed confidence in Biden's ability to confirm a vaccine's safety and effectiveness, while a majority—52 percent—said they lack confidence in Biden as well.

Newsweek reached out to the White House and the CDC for additional remarks Sunday morning.

Donald Trump
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 16: U.S. President Donald J. Trump speaks at a news conference in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on September 16, 2020 in Washington, DC. Trump took questions about the administration's coronavirus response and also sought to clarify comments made by CDC Director Robert Redfield during his recent testimony before Congress. Alex Wong/Getty Images/Getty