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Even most Republicans don't buy it when Trump says US is getting back to normal

Polling shows Americans do not believe we are ‘Transitioning back to greatness.’

By Josh Israel - May 21, 2020
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Donald Trump has spent months downplaying the COVID-19 pandemic and promising that everything would soon be back to normal. But a series of recent polls show that he has not convinced most Americans — or even his own Republican base.

On Wednesday, Trump tweeted that the nation was already “Transitioning back to greatness.”

“I am considering rescheduling the G-7, on the same or similar date, in Washington, D.C., at the legendary Camp David,” he announced. “The other members are also beginning their COMEBACK. It would be a great sign to all – normalization!”

This follows weeks of evidence-free claims from Trump that the United States is “going back to work,” that millions of lost jobs “will all be back, and they’ll be back very soon,” that the “real people want to get back to work ASAP,” and that there will not be a major second wave of coronavirus infections after the nation reopens.

According to a new set of polls, the public is not buying it — not even most Republicans.

An NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll released Wednesday found that 77% of Americans and 57% of Republicans are “very concerned” or “concerned” about a second wave of the pandemic. It also found that 65% of Americans believe it will be six months or more until their daily lives “return to a sense of normal.” Among Republicans, 55% held the view that it would take six months or more.

An AP-NORC poll, also released on Wednesday, found similar results. Asked if they are concerned that lifting social distancing rules in their area would mean more infections, 83% said they were either very concerned or somewhat concerned. Among Republicans, 70% said they were either very concerned or somewhat concerned. The poll also found that a majority of Americans, including Republicans, believe their local safety restrictions were “about right,” though a growing minority of Republicans, 34%, believe they go too far — up from 22% the month prior.

Trump has also repeatedly egged on angry mobs of protesters who are demanding that their states immediately reopen. But a poll earlier in May found that, by a 55% to 31% majority, Americans disapproved of these anti-social-distancing protests; even among Republicans, 51% disapproved and just 32% approved. That same survey found 71% of Americans and 57% of Republicans supported stay-at-home orders to curb the spread of the virus.

Last week, Trump applauded the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision to completely overturn Gov. Tony Evers’ “Safer at Home” emergency order, calling it a “win.”

“[Wisconsin’s] Democrat [sic] Governor was forced by the courts to let the State Open. The people want to get on with their lives. The place is bustling!” he tweeted last Thursday. A Marquette University Law School poll released days earlier found that 69% of the state’s voters — and a 49% plurality of Republicans — backed Wisconsin’s restrictions on public gatherings and closures of schools and businesses.

As Trump pushes to end social distancing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Wednesday that the nation had 23,405 new daily coronavirus cases and 1,324 more deaths. The United States has seen a total of more than 1,500,000 cases and 91,000 deaths since the outbreak of the coronavirus began.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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