Navigating Coronavirus — August 24
We’re back! In today’s email, we look at how Trump continues to promote fringe, unproven ideas while attacking the experts — including a reminder on how the public wants us to be cautious with vaccine development, even as Trump demonstrates a rush to promote any idea to make himself look good. We also have a rundown of the latest outbreaks and hotspots, as the virus — and its economic toll — worsens.
Read on for today’s Navigating Coronavirus…
Message guidance on the latest developments with President Trump’s handling of the crisis.
TRUMP CONTINUES TO IGNORE EXPERTS, SPEW CONSPIRACY THEORIES, AND PUSH UNPROVEN CORONAVIRUS TREATMENTS.
Despite months of evidence that it is one of Americans’ top concerns with his handling of the pandemic, Trump continues to attack medical experts while promoting unproven ideas.
- WHO HE ATTACKS >> The agency tasked with making sure our vaccines and drug treatments are safe and scientific — the FDA. He rails against them with conspiracy theories and even prevents them from making sure testing is safe and reliable.
- WHO HE LISTENS TO >> The CEO of My Pillow, who is not a scientist, has no medical background, but is a snake oil salesman who has gotten Trump to push potentially dangerous unproven treatments.
Trump should be listening to medical experts rather than adopting pseudoscience from Fox News talking heads.
- Politico: “Trump calls out FDA chief, suggests agency is slow-walking Covid clinical trials”
- BE SMART >> Given Trump’s track record of disregarding science and botching distribution of tests, it’s clear he is trying to bully experts at the FDA to serve his own political interests, instead of what’s in the best interest of Americans’ safety.
- NYT: “FDA 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 FDA from the president.’”
- WARNING OF WHAT’S TO COME >> Financial Times: “Trump considers fast-tracking UK Covid-19 vaccine before US election: FDA could use emergency authorisation rules despite fears over high-profile resignations due to safety concerns”
- BIG REMINDER >> By 33 points (57–24%), Americans are more worried that we’ll rush too quickly to develop a vaccine vs. being too cautious.
We’ve seen this from Trump before. He pushed hydroxychloroquine for months despite mounting evidence that it is not effective and can cause serious health complications. The FDA even revoked its emergency authorization of the drug in June, which Trump again attacked this week. Now, he’s on to his next scam.
TRUMP’S REFUSAL TO TAKE CONTROL OF THE VIRUS IS CAUSING CASES TO SPREAD RAPIDLY WITH NO END IN SIGHT — AS MILLIONS TAKE AN ECONOMIC HIT.
In April, as the White House was downplaying the pandemic, Trump estimated that we’d only have 60,000 coronavirus deaths. Now, three times that many Americans have died — more than 180,000 people in the U.S. And, it’s continuing to spread uncontrolled throughout the country.
- SUPER SPREADER EVENTS STILL HAPPENING >> “Covid-19 cases tied to the Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota have reached across state lines”
- COLLEGES ARE NEW HOTSPOTS >> “The New York Times has identified more than 17,000 cases at more than 650 American colleges and universities over the months.”
- MIDWEST SURGES >> “Infections are trending upward in the Midwest”
At the same time the virus itself is worsening, the economic consequences of the pandemic are hitting even more Americans because of Trump and Republicans in Congress refusing to support another relief package.
- Washington Post: “Without federal aid to stave off the impact of the pandemic and economic recession, households that were already on the margins are now being pushed to the brink of financial ruin.”
AS THEY FAIL TO ADDRESS THE ECONOMIC CRISIS FOR MILLIONS OF AMERICANS, REPUBLICANS ARE ALSO REFUSING TO HELP THE POSTAL SERVICE — AS TRUMP RAMPS UP HIS ASSAULT ON MAIL-IN VOTING DURING A PANDEMIC.
Last week, Democrats called an emergency session to fund the postal service and protect the agency from Trump’s political attempt to delay mail and suppress votes. The funding bill passed this weekend with bipartisan support, but Trump says he’ll reject it.
- Politico: “House passes USPS rescue in bid to thwart Trump attacks on mail-in voting”
- “The bill passed 257–150, with 26 Republicans breaking with Trump and GOP leaders to join every Democrat in backing the bill”
- Washington Post: “At President Trump’s behest, the Treasury Secretary sought out appointees who would restructure the United States Postal Service.”
Not only is he refusing to support this bipartisan measure to help USPS, he continues to attack mail-in voting with lies.
- Daily Beast: “Twitter Flags Trump Mail-In Voting Tweet for Making ‘Misleading’ Claims”
Navigating Coronavirus is a joint project of Governing for Impact, Groundwork Collaborative, The Hub Project, and Navigator Research.
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