Navigating Coronavirus — July 20

In today’s email, we take a look at Trump’s new threats to cut funding for testing and the CDC even as the crisis gets worse and experts say testing is our biggest failure. Then we look back at some of Navigator’s biggest findings from the past week, including concerns with school reopenings in context of Trump’s continued threats.

Read on for today’s Navigating Coronavirus…

It’s been 145 days since President Trump said we’d soon have zero cases in the U.S. We now have 3.8 million cases and more than 143,000 deaths.

THE LATEST

1. TRUMP WANTS TO CUT FUNDING FOR TESTING EVEN AS EXPERTS SAY IT’S ALREADY INSUFFICIENT.

Trump decided months ago he was bored of coronavirus and gave up on fighting it, but instead of just ignoring the pandemic, now he’s actively making it harder for Americans to stay safe. Just when you thought his handling couldn’t get any worse, now he actually wants to cut funding for testing.

  • WAPO: “The Trump administration is trying to block billions of dollars for states to conduct testing and contact tracing in the upcoming coronavirus relief bill, people involved in the talks said Saturday.”
  • “The administration is also trying to block billions of dollars that GOP senators want to allocate for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and billions more for the Pentagon and State Department to address the pandemic at home and abroad, the people said.”
  • Administration officials want to zero out the testing and tracing money entirely.”

In his bananas Sunday interview with Chris Wallace, Trump continued lying about testing causing the rise in cases — and again ducked responsibility for his failed national pandemic strategy, even falsely saying: “I supplied everybody.”

  • USA Today: “‘States duking it out for supply’: Lack of federal plan leads to coronavirus testing delays.”
  • “The laboratory giant warned it won’t be able to deliver COVID-19 test results faster as long as cases continue to rapidly escalate.”
  • CNN: “NIH director says coronavirus testing delays are ‘too long’ as country tries to control virus”
  • Colorado Gov. Jared Polis: “The national testing scene is a complete disgrace.”

2. AS ALWAYS, TRUMP IS PUTTING HIMSELF AHEAD OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

Trump doesn’t care about solving this crisis. All he cares about is trying to avoid blame. He’s even willing to hurt America’s schoolchildren for the sake of stroking his own ego.

  • New NYT Report >> “Inside Trump’s Failure: The Rush to Abandon Leadership Role on the Virus”
  • In APRIL: “Their ultimate goal was to shift responsibility for leading the fight against the pandemic from the White House to the states. They referred to this as ‘state authority handoff,’ and it was at the heart of what would become at once a catastrophic policy blunder and an attempt to escape blame for a crisis that had engulfed the country — perhaps one of the greatest failures of presidential leadership in generations.”
  • HuffPost: “Trump Doubles Down On Claim Coronavirus Will Disappear: ‘I’ll Be Right Eventually’”
  • TRUMP on Sunday: “When they don’t open their schools. We’re not going to fund them.”

The problem with all of this is that the public doesn’t trust Trump on coronavirus and they don’t agree with him on schools.

  • The vast majority of Americans want Trump to stay out of school reopenings entirely, as just 32% approve of the way he’s handling the issue. His standing on school reopenings is even worse than his overall handling of the pandemic.

NAVIGATOR TRACKING NUMBERS . . .

  • Reopening schools is now one of the biggest negatives Americans are associating with Trump.
  • Last week, Trump’s approval hit a record low. Just 39% approve of his job as president, while 59% disapprove.
  • As he and his team fight with Dr. Fauci, Americans say he is ignoring experts and are concerned about it. His ignorance of experts remains the top concern about his behavior that Americans have.

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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.