The nation's opinion of President Trump and his handling of the coronavirus pandemic are now on a downward turn, as the economy slumps and the death toll mounts in the virus' wake.

While Trump enjoyed a short-lived approval ratings bump in March at the onset of the outbreak, an aggregation of recent opinion polls show the public's approval of his job performance and specific handling of the coronavirus slipping.

From March 29 to April 8, the number of Americans who disapprove of Trump's job performance grew by 5.2% , with slightly more than half of those surveyed expressing disapproval of his operation.

When it comes to his grasp of the coronavirus pandemic, more Americans now disapprove 48.9% — than approve — 46.8% — of Trump's job performance. That is a 2.1% increase from March 24 to April 7.

The COVID-19 outbreak is a significant test of Trump's leadership skills and comes in the middle of an election year. Not only does he face re-election, but 435 congressional seats, dozens of Senate races and several gubernatorial mansions are on the line.

The United States is in the thick of a spread of the virus that has already killed nearly 18,000 people in the country, with tens of thousands more expected to succumb to its effects.

Experts have warned that it will take aggressive measures like ramped up contact tracing and continued social distancing— the practice of limiting a person's physical time spent to those in their immediate households— to contain the outbreak.

Still, Dr. Anthony Fauci, a leading infectious disease expert and member of the White House coronavirus task force, yesterday offered a brighter prediction on the virus' possible effects, lowering the estimated death toll to around 60,000 deaths, from previous forecasts of 100,000-200,000 U.S. lives lost.

Fauci attributed the improved projection on the country's embrace of social distancing rules and more tangible data collection tracking the virus' spread.

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