Navigating Coronavirus — April 30

Navigating Coronavirus
5 min readApr 30, 2020

It’s been 63 days since President Trump said we’d soon have zero cases in the U.S. We now have 1,064,000 cases and 61,600 deaths — more deaths than any other country in the world.


  • Americans are most concerned with messages that Trump made the crisis worse through his actions, not that he lacks a plan. New message testing in this week’s Navigator deep dive finds greater concern by Trump’s dangerous actions than highlighting the fact he has no plan or is exhibiting poor leadership.


Message guidance on the latest developments with President Trump’s handling of the crisis.

1. Trump’s “great success story” is one million infected, 60,000 dead, and a collapsing economy.

Trump wasted 70 critical days in January, February, and March downplaying the crisis, refusing his intelligence briefings, praising China, giving away our supplies, blaming others, calling it a hoax, and ignoring experts while coronavirus spread into every facet of American life. No matter what Jared Kushner says, Americans don’t believe that is a “great success story.”

  • NEW NAVIGATOR DATA >> 62% believe Trump and his administration did not take this crisis seriously enough at the beginning, including 74% of Independents and 30% of Republicans.

Trump is lying about his efforts to address this crisis, and his actions are hurting the country as the crisis is likely to get worse.

  • TIME: “Trump says U.S. will run 5 million daily virus tests ‘very soon.’ His testing chief says that’s impossible.”
  • Admiral Brett Giroir: “There is absolutely no way on Earth, on this planet or any other planet, that we can do 20 million tests a day, or even five million tests a day.”
  • NPR: “‘Tip Of The Iceberg’: Economy Shrinks At 4.8% Pace, But Worst Is Yet To Come

2. Trump’s rush to end social distancing is dangerous.

By ignoring experts, pressuring governors to end social distancing, and now supporting rightwing groups suing against state and local rules that protect Americans, Trump is putting lives at risk and ignoring what Americans want to see happen.

  • HUFFPOST: “Trump Says He Won’t Extend Social Distancing Guidelines”
  • Trump: “They’ll be fading out because now the governors are doing it”
  • BUT >> “No state that has opted to reopen has come close to the federally recommended decline in cases over a 14-day period.” (NBC News Analysis)
  • NEW NAVIGATOR DATA >> 84% of Americans (including 79% of independents and 76% of Republicans) say we need to maintain or expand current social distancing measures.
  • MORE >> 75% of Americans (including 69% of independents and 61% of Republicans) agree we need to remain focused on resolving the health crisis so then we can begin “restarting the economy” vs. only 25% who say we need to focus on restarting the economy as soon as possible.

3. Trump and Republicans keep putting wealthy corporate interests ahead of workers and their safety.

In the last week alone, Trump has prioritized protecting companies from legal liability if workers get sick, ordered meatpacking plants to stay open even as workers die, and saw Boeing — who he pushed to bail out — lay off thousands of workers.

And Republican Governors are following his lead.

  • AP: Iowa is “warning that failing to return to work out of fear of catching the virus without a valid excuse will be considered a voluntary quit, which disqualifies workers from receiving unemployment benefits.”




  • After he touted glugging Lysol, impressions of Trump’s press briefings got more negative — including among Republicans. It’s clear the public wants Trump to leave the briefings to the experts — and this sharp downturn in positive impression could help explain why Trump has all but stopped doing them.
  • Who Americans blame for coronavirus is complicated — but they see Trump’s blame game as deflection. Sizable majorities of Americans of both parties assign at least some blame to China (including 76% of independents and 72% of Democrats), while blame for Trump is tinted by partisanship. That also helps explain why there’s a lot of overlap between those who blame both Trump and China.
  • BUT! 58% of Americans — and 65% of Independents — believe that Trump is just trying to deflect blame away from his own missteps when he lashes out at people he chooses to blame.


The latest on how the economic crisis sparked by coronavirus is actually fueled by years of President Trump’s conservative economic policies, focusing today on the latest GDP numbers.

Trump didn’t cause the coronavirus, but his economic policies have made this crisis worse and led to workers and families facing the greatest economic calamity since the Great Depression.

  • GDP isn’t the best measure of the economy — but yesterday’s numbers reveal a shocking collapse and highlight the devastation that so many workers and families are facing.
  • Even scarier than the economy shrinking by 4.8% in the first quarter are projections that it could fall by up to 30% in the second quarter — an economic wipeout the likes of which we haven’t seen since the Great Depression.
  • Trump has been focused on helping Wall Street and big business, but workers and families are what make up the economy — and if they don’t get the support they need then the economy won’t be able to recover when this public health crisis ends.

That is why people are demanding that the federal government take major, sweeping action to match the scale of devastation, address the economic impact of the pandemic, and strengthen our economy over the long term.

  • Policymakers must work quickly to address the immediate economic needs with massive support for workers and families that continues until this crisis ends — and they need to fix problems in our economy, like inequality and poverty, that made us more vulnerable to a crisis like this.

Navigating Coronavirus is a joint project of Governing for Impact, Groundwork Collaborative, The Hub Project, and Navigator Research.

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Navigating Coronavirus

A daily product to help you navigate Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus crisis and government response efforts. A project informed by @NavigatorSurvey.