Shock Poll: Only 10 Percent of Americans Trust the Media on COVID-19

January 14th, 2022 12:54 PM

Amid Joe Biden’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day on Thursday, a new poll from NewsNation and Decision Desk HQ found not only do 58 percent of Americans disapprove of his job as President and 55 percent disapprove of how he’s handled COVID-19, but only 10 percent trust his friends in the liberal media for information about the pandemic and virus.

Of course, this poll received zero seconds on Thursday on the flagship broadcast network evening newscasts.



On NewsNation: Prime, host Marnie Hughes said the poll underlined the level of “[t]rust or the lack thereof” in major institutions and “the media, unfortunately” is “one thing that they don’t trust,” leading correspondent Tom Negovan to quip he “[felt] a little bit personally attacked...but that makes sense when you think about it.”

Negovan laid out the big question (which had a higher margin of error) about which group(s) and person(s) do Americans actually trust:

When it comes to information about COVID-19, “which of the following sources would you say you trust? Select all that apply.” The margin of error about 5.8 percent. Dr. Anthony Fauci coming in about 30.1 percent — 30.8 percent. Federal health authorities like the CDC and the FDA about 50 percent. Your doctor way out in front of 63.2percent, President Biden 15 and a half, the media absolutely trailing at 10.2 percent. Honestly, hurts a little bit, but doctors say it's tough right now for them too.

Negovan conceded the findings show it’s not “a surprise” that, if people are going to “trust someone” about their health, it’d be their own doctor because of the “personal relationship.”

When the poll was released Thursday morning, White House correspondent Allison Harris explained on Morning in America that the poll “found that Americans...polled feel overwhelmingly negative about the President's handling of the pandemic as well as the direction the pandemic is moving in.”

With a margin of error of only 3.08 percent (for most questions), Harris said “[m]ore than half of people polled — 52 percent — think the pandemic is never going to end” with both of those Biden numbers on how he’s handled COVID-19 and his job overall creeping closer to 60 percent.

Harris added they “could be motivated in part by the fact that nearly half of these people — 48 percent — say they know a family member or close friend who has either been hospitalized with COVID or has died from COVID.”

Also in the poll, about 80 percent (or 79.8 percent) were either “somewhat” or “very concerned” about the virus, although that number shots to 92 percent (91.9) when the same question was posed about level of concern on inflation.

As Harris reported later in the show, the economy and inflation are therefore a top priority for voters with a wide margin saying they’re worse off than they were a year ago (click “expand”):

Now as concerning as the poll results are about Americans anxieties about COVID, they are even worse, believe it or not, when considering how Americans feel their concerns about those rising prices price hikes in inflation. 45 percent of people polled say they're more worried about rising costs than they're worried about a pandemic that more than half of respondents think is never going to end. Inflation is at its highest rate in 40 years, putting massive pressure on President Biden and the Federal Reserve chairman. President Biden saying yesterday there's more work to do on fighting price hikes. Our poll shows voters are also concerned about unemployment. Only one-fifth of voters think they're better off financially than they were a year ago. That same amount of people think they're actually worse off. 

All of this reads as bad news for President Biden and Democrats very early on for the midterms. Those polled favor Republican candidates by five points. A lot can change in 10 months ahead of that election, but the President and this administration have their work cut out for them, especially as our poll shows the President's disapproval rating at a stunning high. 58 percent. 

Morning in America did acknowledge two findings in Biden’s favor with Harris citing “more than 70 percent — support[ing[ some kind of mask mandate” and Bankert stating “just over 56 percent are at least somewhat supportive of vaccine mandates in public places” while “nearly 44 percent are at least somewhat opposed to them.”

Back on Prime, Hughes spoke with UC San Francisco’s Dr. Monica Gandhi about what the press could do differently and some of why the federal government has failed to keep the peace on COVID-19 (click “expand”):

HUGHES: [T]he report card is out right now for the — for the first semester of school. We've got a really bad grade in the media. Sounds like you got an A, so good on let me start with your reaction just in trust levels because, all joking aside, it's important. It's people's health and they're split on who they trust. 

GANDHI: Yeah. And, you know, to be fair, the CDC, the FDA and the NIH have had really different messages at times from the pandemic and they had different messages on masks, they had different messages on booster — the necessity for booster shots. They said they were going to upgrade masks then they didn’t. Testing? They didn’t, so, actually, we can’t blame people to say we have three major groups that help form our health — NIH, FDA, and CDC — and they have publicly played out confusion.


GANDHI: [W]e do have a public health messaging problem in this country where if we only got couple people on TV and they're not saying the same things, it's really confusing...I think it's everyone's doing your research now because I'm not getting it fro from  messaging, from CDC.


GANDHI: I think that's what's been missing is clean communication by the people that we need to trust to the public and taking time and not doing soundbites on TV.

HUGHES: Well, I'm not going to pretend that the media doesn't play a major role in all of this. Clearly, in that survey, we do. Just 10% of people trust the media. I don't know the question if that involves social media, how large that net was cast, but what can we be doing differently in our reporting of the pandemic and how we cover it? You mention soundbites. We report the facts. We report what we're told. Sometimes we don't have all the information. 

GANDHI: Actually it's something like what you do on this program, which is you do take the time to let people explain it and what were the original studies. Like, it just takes more times to — because medicine is not actually easy. It's never a soundbite thing. It takes, like, the couple minutes to explain things — the immune system or whatever needs to be explained, so giving people more time.

To see the relevant transcript from NewsNation on January 13, click here.