Navigating Coronavirus — August 11
In today’s email, we look at how Trump is continuing to lie about COVID-19’s impact on children, as he demands schools reopen and college sports kick off, even if it isn’t safe. We also have the latest on the fallout of Trump’s confusing “executive order” stunt.
Reminder: tomorrow we’ll have new Navigator poll numbers out, so stay tuned.
And now, read on for today’s Navigating Coronavirus…
Message guidance on the latest developments with President Trump’s handling of the crisis.
AS THE OUTBREAK SURGES, TRUMP IS PUTTING PEOPLE IN DANGER BY PUSHING TO REOPEN SCHOOLS AND RESTART LARGE EVENTS LIKE COLLEGE FOOTBALL GAMES.
A million more Americans have been diagnosed with coronavirus in just 17 days, including nearly 100,000 children in only two weeks. Just days into the school year, schools that have started to reopen their doors at the demand of President Trump are feeling the repercussions and facing chaos as they scramble to deal with outbreaks — as Trump continues to lie about the impact of the virus on children.
- Trump on Monday, continuing to lie about kids and coronavirus: “They don’t transport it or transfer it to other people or certainly not very easily. So yeah, I think schools have to open.”
- REALITY >> CNN: “Adults may not be the only COVID ‘long haulers.’ Some kids still have symptoms, months after falling ill”
- EVEN WORSE >> NPR: “CDC says kids can get severe COVID-19 symptoms requiring ICU admission — especially Black and Hispanic children.”
- Washington Post: “The 2020–2021 school year has dawned and it’s more chaotic than any before.”
- FLORIDA >> “9 of the 12 Florida counties starting in-person schooling this week had a positivity rate above 5%”
- GEORGIA >> “More than 500 people from a Georgia school district are in quarantine due to COVID-19”
- NEW JERSEY >> “N.J. school district isn’t giving masks to teachers, so they’re fundraising to buy PPE themselves”
- MISSISSIPPI >> “22 schools report COVID-19 cases in Mississippi”
Everyone wants to reopen schools and return to normal life, but Trump is not doing anything to actually control the virus. So as he pushes to return to normal — including tweeting to resume college football games even as conferences weigh canceling the season because of the pandemic — he is denying science and has given up on any plan to stop the virus from spreading.
- IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY >> NYT Ed Board: “America Could Control the Pandemic by October. Let’s Get to It.”
- “It’s no mystery how America got here. The Trump administration’s response has been disjointed and often contradictory, indifferent to science, suffused with politics and eager to hand off responsibility to state leaders.”
TRUMP’S RESPONSE KEEPS MAKING THIS CRISIS WORSE.
As the country tops 166,000 deaths, multiple states set single-day case records, Florida hits its highest number of weekly hospitalizations, and the Midwest is on the brink of a widespread outbreak — Trump says he thinks “it’s amazing what we’ve been able to do.”
Trump’s incompetent response, refusal to accept science, and politics-first approach is creating confusion and hurting Americans.
- PULLING A POLITICAL STUNT >> This weekend, Trump signed “executive orders” to address the economic crisis — a stunt he thinks will make him look like he’s solving problems. In reality, the orders include details that either won’t work or would actually hurt the people he is claiming will be helped.
- NYT: “Trump’s Orders on Coronavirus Relief Create Confusion: Businesses and the unemployed faced uncertainty”
- IGNORING SCIENCE >> Trump’s refusal to accept science has caused confusion and created political divisions, costing American lives.
- NBC: “Calendar of confusion: From February to August, Trump’s mixed messages on masks: ‘People have died because we haven’t had consistent messaging on mask-wearing,’ one health expert said.”
- KEEP AN EYE OUT >> As the outbreak continues to ravage the country, public health officials remain hopeful for coronavirus treatments and vaccines. But given Trump’s track record of disregarding science and botching distribution of tests, concerns are mounting that the president will bully experts at the FDA for political gain.
- NYT: “F.D.A. Chief, Is Caught Between Scientists and the President: ‘Many medical experts — including members of his own staff — worry about whether Dr. Hahn, despite his good intentions, has the fortitude and political savvy to protect the scientific integrity of the F.D.A. from the president.’”
ECONOMIC CRISIS IN CONTEXT
The latest on how the economic crisis sparked by coronavirus is being fueled by President Trump’s actions and years of conservative economic policies, focusing today on the continued fallout from Trump’s convoluted and harmful executive orders.
After Trump’s desperate attempt to fix the problems he created with convoluted and unworkable executive actions was widely panned across the country, his administration is signaling that they are open to reversing course and standing down from their obstruction.
- The House passed their bill over two months ago and Trump’s obstruction and delay gave him full ownership of the incomes of 30 million Americans getting cut during a pandemic and the already-fragile economy getting pushed even closer to complete collapse.
- More people are learning that Trump’s half-baked payroll “tax cut” plan wouldn’t actually put money in their pockets — and would threaten Social Security if it were ever implemented.
- Unless Trump reverses course, this crisis is only going to get worse as income cuts lead to further drops in demand and consumer spending, and the expiration of the eviction moratorium and other key family lifelines undermines that even further.
- Coming up: One-third of renters across the country are expected to miss their August payments as job losses and economic damage pile up.
- Reminder: the economic pain is being felt disproportionately as Black workers and families continue bearing the brunt of the fallout.
Trump and his allies have a choice: work with Democrats to fully extend emergency unemployment benefits until this crisis is over, or cause more needless suffering for families and a longer and deeper economic crisis.
Navigating Coronavirus is a joint project of Governing for Impact, Groundwork Collaborative, The Hub Project, and Navigator Research.
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