WASHINGTON — Fewer than a third of Americans say they trust what President Donald Trump has said about the coronavirus pandemic, new polling shows, while a majority of the public trusts the messaging from the country's leading health experts.
According to the NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Tracking Poll, 58 percent of Americans say they don't trust what Trump has said about the pandemic, while 31 percent say they do trust his comments.
But a majority of American adults say they trust statements from Dr. Anthony Fauci and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fifty-one percent of adults say they trust Fauci's statements, and 55 percent say they trust the CDC. Twenty-nine percent say they don't trust Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and 32 percent say the same of the CDC.
And 49 percent say they trust what their states' governors have said, with 37 percent saying they don't.
The new poll shows a serious political divide driving public opinion.
Majorities of Republicans trust what the president has said, but they don't trust what Fauci has said or what has come out of the CDC.
Just 32 percent of those who identify as Republicans or lean Republican say they trust what Fauci has said. Thirty-eight percent say they trust the statements from the CDC.
Majorities of Republicans and Republican leaners say they don't trust Fauci or the CDC, 53 percent and 52 percent respectively.
As for Trump, 69 percent of Republican and Republican leaners say they trust his comments, while 29 percent don't. Forty-nine percent of Republicans and Republican leaners say they don't trust their governors' comments, while 41 percent say they do.
Democrats, by comparison, overwhelmingly trust the CDC and Fauci's comments but don't feel the same about Trump.
Seventy-eight percent of those who identify as Democrats or lean Democratic say they trust what Fauci has said, and 76 percent say they trust the CDC's messages. Only 9 percent of Democrats or Democratic leaners say they don't trust Fauci, and 16 percent say they don't trust the CDC.
Sixty-three percent of Democrats and Democratic leaners say they trust their governors' messages, while 28 percent don't.
Fauci has led the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s, but he has recently been targeted by the administration he serves.
The partisan divide continues when it comes to wearing masks outside the home. Even though 68 percent of adults said they wear protective masks "every time" they leave their homes and may come into contact with other people, just 48 percent of Republicans and those who lean Republican said they wear them "every time." Democrats and Democratic leaners are far more likely to say they always wear masks when leaving home, with 85 percent saying so.
Trump endorsed wearing masks in July after several months of having waffled on the issue.
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As the school year nears despite the unrelenting pandemic, schools are beginning to decide whether to hold in-person or remote instruction.
Thirty-eight percent of adults report that their children's schooling will be conducted entirely online when schools reopen, and 25 percent say there will be a mixture of in-person and online instruction. Just 18 percent reported that their children will go to school "fully in-person."
The data come from a set of SurveyMonkey online polls conducted July 27-Aug. 2, 2020, among a national sample of 47,190 adults in the U.S. Respondents were selected from the more than 2 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. The modeled error estimate for this survey is plus or minus 1.0 percentage points. Data have been weighted for age, race, sex, education and geography using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States ages 18 and over.