Americans Chide Federal Government’s Response to Pandemic

Men in the United States are more likely to believe that the worst is “behind us” than women.

Vancouver, BC [September 7, 2020] – More than half of Americans are disappointed with the federal administration’s response to COVID-19, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 39% of Americans say they are satisfied with how the federal government has dealt with the outbreak, up two points since a similar Research Co. poll conducted in August.

A majority of Americans (56%, +3) say they are dissatisfied with the way the federal administration has handled the pandemic, including 64% of Democrats.

The assessment is different for two other levels of administration. More than half of Americans say they are satisfied with the way their local governments (56%, -5) and their state governments (also 56%, unchanged) have dealt with the outbreak.

Across the United States, nine-in-ten Americans (90%, +8) agree with requiring all customers or visitors entering an indoor premise to wear a mask or face covering while inside.

Two thirds of Americans (66%, +1) say they will “definitely” or “probably” take a vaccine against COVID-19 if one ultimately becomes available, while just over one-in-five (22%, -3) “probably” or “definitely” will not.

More than half of Americans (55%, +1) disapprove of Donald Trump’s performance as president—including 83% of Democrats, 81% of African Americans, 64% of women, 63% of Americans aged 55 and over.

Two months prior to Election Day, the approval rating for Trump stands at 42%. Satisfaction with how Trump is handling his duties is highest among Republicans (86%), Fox News watchers (65%) Americans aged 35-to-54 (53%), men (52%) and White Americans (48%).

Almost half of Americans (47%, +10 since August) think the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is behind, while 40% (+11) believe it still lies ahead.

“There is an enormous gender gap in the perceptions of Americans on the future of the pandemic,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “While 58% of men in the United States believe the situation will improve, only 37% of women share the same point of view.”

White Americans are also more likely to believe that the worst of COVID-19 has passed (51%) than Americans of Hispanic and Latino origin (35%) and African Americans (23%).


Results are based on an online study conducted from September 4 to September 6, 2020, among 1,200 American adults.  The data has been statistically weighted according to U.S. census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 2.8 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our data tables here and here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:
Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.