Americans are increasingly concerned they or someone they know will be infected with the coronavirus following President Donald Trump’s diagnosis. Roughly eight in 10 Americans are concerned about contracting COVID-19 compared to 72% two weeks ago – the highest number since April.
The jump in concern is almost entirely driven by Republicans whose overall concern increased 18 points and Independents whose overall concern increased 13 points. Democrats held steady at 86%.
After the first debate between former Vice President Joe Biden and President Trump, reports surfaced that Trump and his family refused face masks from Cleveland Clinic. Shortly after, three-fourths of Americans (72%) said Trump did not take appropriate precautions regarding his personal health, as opposed to about a quarter of Americans (27%) who said they believed Trump had taken the risk of contracting coronavirus seriously enough. And after Trump left the hospital, over half of Americans (54%) say that the White House has not given the public enough information regarding Trump’s health.
Will Trump’s diagnosis and his handling of it, on top of his tax returns, his debate performance, and refusal to condemn white supremacists be enough to swing voters to Biden? Recent polling shows Biden leading Trump 53% to 39% among registered voters conducted post-debate but pre-COVID diagnosis.
However, this could mean little in terms of election results – in October 2016, Hillary Clinton was also leading Trump by 14 points.