Donald Trump's Approval Rating Hits Record High But Coronavirus Crisis Brings 'Substantial Risks' to President: Poll

President Donald Trump's job approval rating has reached a record-high in one poll amid the coronavirus pandemic, but he faces "substantial risks" as the crisis deepens.

The ABC News/Washington Post poll found that Trump had a 48 percent job approval among Americans, its highest to date during his presidency.

It is also the first time that approval has exceeded disapproval, which is now at 46 percent, in the poll. This is despite 58 percent of those polled saying the president acted too slowly in the early days of the outbreak.

Now, 51 percent approve specifically of Trump's handling of the coronavirus outbreak versus 45 percent who do not. "That said, there are substantial risks to the president," said the commentary attached to the poll, which was conducted by Langer Research Associates.

"Trump's overall approval rating drops among people who are more worried about catching the coronavirus, report severe local economic impacts, say their lives have been especially disrupted or know someone who's caught the virus.

"He also has lower approval in states with higher per-capita infection rates. Some of this relates to the demographics of the affected states, and some reflects greater levels of apprehension among Trump's critics.

"Nonetheless, the results suggest that as the crisis deepens, the risks to views of his performance likely rise."

The ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellphone March 22-25 in English and Spanish among a random national sample of 1,003 adults.

There is a margin of sampling error of 3.5 percentage points and the partisan division among respondents is 30-24-37 percent Democrats-Republicans-Independents.

The economy is heading for a deep recession because of the health crisis and last week alone 3.3 million people filed unemployment claims, according to Department of Labor data. In response, Congress is expected to pass an unprecedented $2 trillion stimulus package.

The Trump administration has faced criticism for delays in testing people for COVID-19—the disease caused by the news strain of coronavirus—and to the delivery of urgently-needed medical supplies to states battling the pandemic.

But the federal government's response has strengthened in recent days, and the president has won praise from some of his critics, including the Democratic governors of California and New York, Gavin Newsom and Andrew Cuomo.

The U.S. is now the epicenter of the global pandemic. It has surpassed China, where the outbreak originated, in the number of confirmed cases.

According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, there are more than 537,808 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, more than 24,350 deaths, and more than 124,160 recoveries.

In the U.S., which is still experiencing a rapid spread of infection, there are nearly 86,000 confirmed cases and almost 1,300 deaths with 753 recoveries.

Many states and localities are on lockdown in an attempt to mitigate the spread and prevent health systems from becoming overwhelmed.

But there are already huge pressures on hospitals in the hardest-hit states, such as New York and Washington, and officials are pleading for more equipment to help medical workers cope with the unfolding crisis.

Donald Trump poll approval rating coronavirus
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a briefing on the coronavirus pandemic in the press briefing room of the White House on March 26, 2020 in Washington, DC. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
  • If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
  • Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask and glove usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.
  • Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
  • The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.