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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

The White House

Sixty-seven percent of Americans disapprove of Donald Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new poll.

The latest ABC News/Ipsos poll found a record low 33 percent approval rating for the way Trump has handled the COVID-19 pandemic, down from 54 percent in March and 41 percent in mid-June.

Since May, Trump has focused little attention on curbing the pandemic.


Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told the Financial Times on Friday that he has not briefed Trump for at least two months and has not seen him in person since June 2.

CNN reported on Wednesday that Trump has not met with the White House coronavirus task force in months and its meetings are now being relegated to off-site locations.

After holding public briefings on the pandemic on a nearly daily basis in March and April, Trump abandoned them in May. He complained that the sessions were "Not worth the time & effort."

In June, the administration announced that Adm. Brett Giroir, Trump's coronavirus testing czar, would be "demobilized" from the job and not replaced. Vox reported on Friday that, once again, the lack of capacity for speedy testing is a problem across the country.

"This was supposed to be the job of the White House," Ashish Jha, faculty director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, told the outlet. "But they just never have prioritized really building up a robust testing infrastructure for the country."

The new testing shortages come as the nation's COVID-19 cases continue to spike and set new records daily. On Thursday, the number of new cases rose by more than 63,000 nationally, bringing the total to more than 3.1 million infections. According to Johns Hopkins University data, this accounts for more than 25 percent of the cases globally.

Still, Trump has preferred to talk about other topics, including his "aced" cognitive test, his defense of Confederate monuments, and his outrage that New York City decided to paint "Black Lives Matter" in front of Trump Tower.

The rare times the Trump does discuss the pandemic, he continues to focus on actions he took months ago.

"I think we are in a good place," he told Fox News on Tuesday. "I didn't listen to my experts and I banned China. We would have been in much worse shape. You wouldn't believe the number of deaths more we would have had if we didn't do the ban."

Independent fact-checkers have debunked Trump's claims, noting that his January restrictions on travel from China were not a "ban," the restrictions were indeed supported by Trump's team of experts, and that there's no evidence the policy saved lives.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.