Donald Trump Sees Best Approval Rating for Three Years Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

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.

Trump and his administration have faced criticism for their response to the coronavirus crisis, which originated in China and has now spread worldwide, claiming thousands of lives.

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."

Trump continued, "We have the threat of doing it if we need it. We may have to use it somewhere along the supply chain, in a minor way. But we have millions of masks being done. We have respirators. We have ventilators. We have a lot of things happening right now...doing it the way we're doing it is much better. It's really much better."

The president won praise from some of his strongest critics for his responses to the current situation, which is both a public health emergency and an economic crisis.

After the Trump administration suspended foreclosures and evictions and promised cash payments to Americans, Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar wrote on Twitter, "Politics aside, this is incredible and the right response in this critical time."

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat whose state is one of the hardest-hit by the pandemic, said Trump is "doing the right thing in offering to step up."

California Governor Gavin Newsom, also a Democrat, had sought swabs from Trump. Describing their conversation as a "privilege," Newsom said, "Not only is he on top of it, but they're securing and beginning the process of distributing those swabs."

donald trump coronavirus approval rating poll
U.S. President Donald Trump takes questions during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus at the White House on March 24, 2020, in Washington, DC. MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images