Navigating Coronavirus — August 27
As President Trump is set to accept his nomination for a second term in his convention speech tonight, in today’s email we have **new** Navigator polling on Americans’ views of his presidency. It’s Navigating Coronavirus: Referendum Edition, and across the board, the ratings for Trump are bad. We also have the latest on Trump overruling experts as he seeks, yet again, to undermine coronavirus testing in a sad attempt to make himself look good politically.
Read on for today’s Navigating Coronavirus…
- NEW NAVIGATOR POLL >> Americans increasingly say Trump is putting himself above the country, with Republicans moving the most since 2018 — all as 7 in 10 Americans describe him as “self-absorbed.”
Message guidance on the latest developments with President Trump’s handling of the crisis.
TRUMP CONTINUES HIS ASSAULT ON EXPERTS AND SCIENCE BY BULLYING THE CDC TO GUT TESTING AS A PLOY TO COVER UP RISING CASES.
Trump has repeatedly said that we have too much testing and ordered his aides to slow down testing because he claims it makes the U.S. look bad. The CDC is now heeding Trump’s demands after pressure from high ranking officials in the Trump administration, setting off alarm bells among health experts who say that this will make the crisis worse.
He’s once again overruling public health officials — this time to try to boost his own image by artificially reducing positive test results to make it look like he’s got the outbreak more under control.
- Washington Post: “CDC says not all close contacts need to get tested after coronavirus exposure, alarming experts”
- USA Today: “‘This change in policy will kill’: Experts troubled by CDC changes to COVID-19 testing guidelines”
- BE SMART >> These changes are not happening because we don’t have enough tests for asymptomatic people. We have “plenty of coronavirus tests available,” but Trump has actively been scaling back testing — making it harder for Americans to stay safe — to hide skyrocketing case numbers from being exposed.
WARNING SIGN OF WHAT’S TO COME >> If Trump is willing to strongarm independent regulatory agencies on testing, he could do it again to rush an unsafe vaccine approval to boost his chances of re-election.
- USA Today: “Scientists worry FDA could be pressured to approve COVID vaccine before it’s fully tested”
TRUMP AND REPUBLICANS ARE DENYING REALITY ON TRUMP’S FAILED PANDEMIC RESPONSE.
Artificially lowering positive test results is just one way Trump and the GOP are pretending coronavirus is under control — they’ve also spent the week at their convention suggesting that the pandemic is over. Both their rhetoric and actions are aimed at concealing the reality that coronavirus in the U.S. is getting worse.
- DENYING REALITY >> The Atlantic: “President Trump’s surrogates are referring to COVID-19 in the past tense as it continues to ravage America and disrupt the RNC.”
- REWRITING HISTORY >> ABC: “RNC praise for Trump’s COVID-19 response at odds with months of missteps”
- DECLARING VICTORY >> Mike Pence, last night: “We are slowing the spread, we are protecting the vulnerable, we are saving lives, and we are opening up American again.”
- REMINDER >> Trump tapped Pence to lead the coronavirus task force in February. He was integral to the administration’s mishandling early on >> Politico: “How Mike Pence slowed down the coronavirus response: Taking the reins in late February, the vice president sought to bring order to a chaotic response. He also slowed things down.”
- NO TESTS, NO MASKS, NO SOCIAL DISTANCING >> The White House violated several CDC guidelines at Melania Trump’s speech on Tuesday, setting a dangerous example for the public and risking spreading the virus to dozens of attendees. Super spreader events like this one are fueling the pandemic — yet another direct way Trump is making this crisis worse.
- CNN: “Those who attended first lady Melania Trump’s speech in the White House Rose Garden that capped the second night of the Republican National Convention were not required to get tested for coronavirus […] The vast majority of those attending did not wear masks, and the chairs provided for attendees did not appear to be placed six feet apart.”
**NEW NAVIGATOR POLLING**
Today, we have new Navigator polling on Americans’ views on the Trump presidency, ahead of his speech accepting a second term at tonight’s GOP convention.
TODAY’S FULL POLLING DECK >> HERE
- TRUMP, THE DISAPPOINTMENT >> A majority of Americans say Trump has been worse than expected in his four years as president, as his approval ratings on everything from handling the pandemic to the economy go down.
- MORE >> A record number of Americans in our tracking (62%) now say Trump is putting the wealthy first, not working and middle class people.
- TRUMP, THE PANDEMIC FAILURE >> Even as the GOP convention is in overdrive to rewrite history on Trump’s handling of the pandemic, nearly 6 in 10 Americans still say Trump is not doing enough to fight coronavirus, including a rising number of seniors 65+ (58%, up from 50% three weeks ago).
- MORE >> Despite his gaslighting on the issue, nearly two-thirds of Americans still describe Trump as anti-mask.
- TRUMP, THE PROMISE BREAKER >> Trump has lost ground with the American people on a number of his 2016 campaign promises over the past year, especially on restoring law and order, making America respected in the world, and putting America first.
- TRUMP, THE LIAR >> Americans aren’t buying Trump’s key pitches for re-election. A majority of Americans disagree with a wide range of pro-Trump messaging — on coronavirus, the economy, corruption, public safety, and more. Strikingly, nearly 6 in 10 Americans disagree with the claim that Trump is shepherding us into an economic recovery.
- MORE >> Trump says Black Americans are doing better under his presidency than any since Abraham Lincoln. 75% of Black Americans strongly disagree.
Navigating Coronavirus is a joint project of Governing for Impact, Groundwork Collaborative, The Hub Project, and Navigator Research.
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