Yale School of Management

CEO Caucus Survey: Business Leaders Fault Trump Administration on COVID and China

A majority of the business leaders gathered for the Chief Executive Leadership Institute’s virtual CEO Caucus on September 23 gave President Donald Trump a failing grade on his response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In one of a series of snap polls conducted by Professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, senior associate dean for leadership studies, 55% of attendees gave the president an F, 12% a D, 18% a C, 9% a B, and 6% an A. An even larger majority of 84% of the group said that the administration’s response to the crisis had hurt their businesses; similar majorities said that the U.S. response is worse than other industrialized nations and that the government response had increased the number of deaths in the U.S. 

While 62% said that their businesses had suffered from unfair competitive practices in China, they dismissed the U.S. response to those practices, with 78% saying that Trump administration policies had made U.S.-China relations worse. They also faulted the administration’s role in the sale of TikTok’s U.S. operations, with 73% saying that the deal did not advance U.S. national security interests and 65% agreeing that it was political payback for Oracle’s support of the administration.

Seventy-seven percent of the business leaders said they would be voting for Joe Biden over Trump in the November election; 62% predicted that Biden would win.