Second study by the Center on social impact of COVID-19 reports Fauci still considered #1 source for pandemic information

Study finds reliance on Trump drops; public support of government response to the coronavirus declines

August 5, 2020 — A growing number of Americans say federal, state, and local governments are doing a poor job of responding to COVID-19, and Anthony Fauci continues to be the nation’s most relied-upon source about the coronavirus, reports a new study by the USC Center for the Digital Future.

Fauci still #1 source for pandemic information; Trump slumps

The Center’s second survey of the social impact of the coronavirus, conducted during the fourth week of June as follow-up to an initial study in April, found more Americans (44%) rely on Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, than any other individual for information about the pandemic.

After Fauci, individuals rely on New York governor Andrew Cuomo (19%), CNN medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta or the respondent’s own mayor (16%), and Coronavirus Response Coordinator Deborah Birx (15%).

The June survey found President Donald Trump is relied on by 12% of Americans for pandemic information, down from 20% in the Center’s survey in April. In the June survey, 29% of conservatives and 2% of liberals said they rely on Trump. The largest level of reliance on Trump was 40% of those who identify themselves as very conservative.

Fewer have faith in federal, state, and local response to the pandemic

The June study found 43 percent of Americans said the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic was poor, an increase from 39% in April – this compares to 18% who reported the state and local response as being poor, up from 14% in April.

The June study also found for the second time that Americans were more likely to give high marks to state and local agencies than to the federal government. Forty-eight percent of Americans in the June study said the state and local response has been good or excellent, down from 54% in April. Twenty-eight percent of Americans believe the federal government’s response to the pandemic has been good or excellent, down from 33% in April.

The first round of the Center’s Coronavirus Disruption Study, released April 29, revealed many changes – both positive and negative – in relationships, emotional stability, and personal behavior since the COVID-19 pandemic and safer-at-home restrictions began.

The second round of the study, conducted June 19-26, added new questions about political behavior and compared views about changes in working from home, online education, media and entertainment, shopping behavior, and political outlooks.

The findings are based on the results of surveys of 1,000 respondents conducted in English from an online panel, with a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

August 5, 2020