Was President Trump’s COVID diagnosis a ‘wake-up call' for anyone? Not really

Graeme BruceBusiness Data Journalist
October 07, 2020, 12:33 PM UTC

In the days following President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis, very few registered voters say the episode is a “wake-up call” about the risk of the virus. 

According to the latest Yahoo News / YouGov Poll, just 7% view the virus reaching the nation’s highest office as a wake-up call.  

This includes 8% of President Trump’s supporters (8%) and 4% of Biden's (4%). 

A little more than half (56%) of registered voters feel they needed no wake up call, saying that they were already taking the virus more seriously than the president was. The vast majority of Biden voters (86%) say so of themselves, while about one in five (19%) Trump supporters agree. 

Another quarter (26%) of registered voters don’t see the president’s diagnosis as a reason to take COVID more seriously, saying it was just “bad luck” for the president and believe they don’t face a serious risk. This is the most common response among Trump supporters (54%), while barely any Biden supporters feel this way (4%). 

Among Trump supporters, we saw personal worry about COVID-19 drop between the last week of September and the first week of October (46% the week of September 21 vs. 40% this week). Figures are virtually unchanged among Biden supporters (80% vs. 81%). 

After Trump was discharged from the Walter Reed Army Medical Center on October 5, Trump tweetedmore than once , “Don’t be afraid of COVID. Don’t let it dominate your life.” 

About two-thirds (65%) of registered voters are worried about personally experiencing COVID-19, while about a third (35%) are not. 

Related findings: 

See the crosstabs from this Yahoo News/YouGov Poll   

Methodology: This Yahoo News survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,202 U.S. registered voters interviewed online from October 2 - 3, 2020. The sample were weighted according to gender, age, race and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 presidential vote, registration status, geographic region and news interest. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all U.S registered voters. The margin of error is 4.6%.   

Image: Getty