Navigating Coronavirus — August 28

In today’s email, we have new polling on the *real* state of the pandemic in America, unlike what you heard from President Trump last night at the convention. Trump continues to ignore the virus, including recklessly disregarding health experts’ guidance at the convention last night, as it wreaks havoc on the country. We also dive into the new unemployment numbers, where a million more Americans filed for unemployment in Trump’s recession.

Read on for today’s Navigating Coronavirus…

It’s been 184 days since President Trump said we’d soon have zero cases in the U.S. We now have 6 million cases and more than 184,000 deaths.



Last night at the GOP convention, Trump masked the truth while maskless guests who crowded the White House lawn were sold an alternative history. He closed out the convention the same way Republicans spent the week — praising the pandemic response and pretending the virus is under control. While top aides referred to the pandemic in the past tense, Eric Trump even complained that Democrats talk about coronavirus too much.

  • PHONY SALES PITCH >> Since the start of the pandemic, Trump and his allies have been downplaying the severity of the virus and now they are downplaying the disaster he created.
  • Washington Post analysis: “Six months ago, Trump said that coronavirus cases would soon go to zero. They … didn’t.”
  • “Within a month, the country would go from Trump’s 15 cases to nearly 88,000 cases. By April 26, the total was nearly a million. By May 26, 1.7 million. The most recent total is north of 5.7 million. That steady increase is in part a function of Trump repeating the same mistake over and over, portraying the pandemic as ending or functionally ended.”
  • DON’T FORGET >> “Timeline: The 105 times Trump has downplayed the coronavirus threat”
  • TOUGH SELL >> Americans aren’t buying what Trump is selling — a new poll from Pew research found that Americans ranked the U.S. government’s handling of coronavirus worse than citizens from any other country ranked their own government’s pandemic response.

Not only did Trump and his allies spend the week declaring victory, they irresponsibly conducted the entire convention as if the virus doesn’t exist — crowding should-to-shoulder, shaking hands, and violating CDC guidelines — setting a fatal example for the public and putting attendees at risk.

  • NO TESTS >> “Guests for Trump acceptance speech get guidance, but not COVID-19 testing”
  • NO MASKS >> “Pence, virus task force leader, mingles with largely mask-free audience after convention speech”
  • NO SOCIAL DISTANCE >> “Trump on his approach to the virus: ‘We are focusing on the science, the facts and the data’ Trump is saying this to a non-socially distanced crowd where supporters aren’t wearing masks.”



  • REALITY CHECK >> As Trump tries to paint an alternative pandemic reality, Americans certainly are feeling the crisis’ devastating effects. The pandemic is causing two-thirds of Americans a lot of stress, and one in five people — including a third of African Americans and three in ten Hispanic Americans — know somebody who lost their life because of the virus.
  • Trump may have given up on fighting the virus, but that fatigue hasn’t set in among Americans… By 31 points (61%-30%), people are more concerned that social distancing will end too soon than that it will go on too long.
  • MORE >> An overwhelming majority of people, including 74% of independents and 68% of Republicans, want to continue social distancing until we have a vaccine. The number of people who want to see more aggressive social distancing has increased by 21 points since early June.


Another 1.4 million workers filed for unemployment in Trump’s economy — bringing the total to nearly 60 million over the last 23 weeks — as Trump and his allies continue blocking additional support for workers and families

Trump is bragging about the stock market and acting like this means the economy is in good shape, but remember: the stock market is not the economy.

  • In the actual economy, tens of millions of workers have lost their jobs in the middle of a pandemic, millions of families have lost their health care, small businesses are closing their doors, and families are struggling to put food on the table — and this will only get worse if Trump and his allies refuse to act.
  • Trump’s push to cut unemployment benefits will lead to a steep decline in local spending, continued drop-off in GDP, and another 1 million jobs lost over the next four months.
  • REMEMBER >> Despite what Trump may claim, the economy wasn’t actually strong before this pandemic hit, and the rampant inequality, stagnating middle class, and deteriorated worker power caused by conservative policies has made this far crisis longer and deeper than it needed to be.

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

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