Navigating Coronavirus — July 30

We’ll be off tomorrow, but we’ll be back in your inbox Monday morning with next week’s Navigating Coronavirus — including new data on Trump’s standing among key demographics throughout this crisis.

In today’s email, we dive into Trump’s inexplicable defense of a snake oil doctor who says you get sick from having sex with demons in your dreams, while spitting in the face of actual doctors who say we need to do more to combat the worsening pandemic — including wearing masks, which, sorry Louie, don’t cause covid. Finally, we also look at the latest with the hot mess that is the GOP coronavirus relief package.

Read on for today’s Navigating Coronavirus…

It’s been 155 days since President Trump said we’d soon have zero cases in the U.S. We now have 4.5 million cases and more than 153,000 deaths.

THE LATEST

1. AS THE VIRUS RAGES, TRUMP IS ATTACKING AND IGNORING ACTUAL HEALTH EXPERTS LIKE DR. FAUCI, WHILE PROMOTING FRINGE WACKOS.

While he whines about Dr. Fauci’s popularity, Trump won’t actually listen to him — even yesterday, he refused to wear a mask while in Texas, one of the nation’s coronavirus hotspots. At the same time, Trump is eager to promote and defend junk science and fringe conspiracy theorists just to stroke his own ego.

  • Axios: “Fauci: Trials have ‘consistently’ shown hydroxychloroquine is ‘not effective’”
  • CNN: “Trump’s return as the face of the COVID-19 response has deteriorated into a misinformation masterclass that explains why America is in such a mess.”
  • AP: “As the world races to find a vaccine and a treatment for COVID-19, there is seemingly no antidote in sight for the burgeoning outbreak of coronavirus conspiracy theories, hoaxes, anti-mask myths and sham cures. … Experts worry the torrent of bad information is dangerously undermining efforts to slow the virus.”

Trump’s return to promoting these dangerous theories — days after his “new tone” — comes as Americans still express deep concerns about Trump ignoring real experts and making this outbreak worse.

  • Latest Navigator poll >> By double digits, Americans still list Trump ignoring experts as their top concern.

2. TRUMP IS DOING NOTHING TO ACTUALLY GET THE PANDEMIC UNDER CONTROL, EVEN AS IT WREAKS HAVOC ON THE COUNTRY.

While he tweets insane conspiracies, and falsely claims much of the country is “corona-free”, the virus is crushing states across the country — and even his own administration is quietly signaling things are getting worse. Yet Trump has given up on fighting the pandemic, even as the death toll exceeds 150,000the highest number of any country and a quarter of total deaths globally.

  • CBS News: “Federal coronavirus ‘red zone’ of severe outbreaks expands to 21 total states”
  • Washington Post: “Florida, California and North Carolina report record new coronavirus deaths for one day”
  • CNN: “At least 54 hospitals have reached ICU capacity in Florida”
  • Vox: “Three words explain why many developed countries have contained their coronavirus outbreaks more successfully than the United States: test, trace, and isolate. … But today, six months into the pandemic, America is still struggling to stand up these basic features of an effective public health response.”
  • “The federal government’s attitude toward contact tracing has been, at best, indifference and, at worst, active resistance.”

3. TRUMP AND HIS REPUBLICAN ALLIES CONTINUE AN ANTI-MASK CRUSADE THAT IS GOING TO GET PEOPLE KILLED AND MAKE THE OUTBREAK WORSE.

It’s not just Trump; yes, he refuses to wear a mask and demonstrate the example Americans need right now, but Republican leaders are openly railing on masks — even as the virus hits them directly.

  • CBS News’ Mark Knoller: “Trump greeted by Gov. Abbott on arrival in Midland, Texas. Everyone wearing a mask except the president.”
  • USA Today: “Rep. Gohmert wonders if wearing a mask led to COVID-19 diagnosis despite health guidance to the contrary”
  • Trump ally Congressman Jim Jordan openly flaunted mask-wearing rules in the House’s Big Tech hearing yesterday — and exploded in anger when a colleague asked him to wear one.

MEANWHILE >> “I’m a pulmonary care doctor. There’s absolutely nothing unsafe about masks.”

  • More Navigator data >> Trump and Republicans are wildly out of step with Americans on masks — 81% of Americans, including 82% of Independents and 65% of Republicans, consider themselves “pro-mask,” and people think it’s irresponsible and selfish not to wear a mask. Three in four people think those who don’t wear masks are putting others at risk and deserve to be called out.

ECONOMIC CRISIS IN CONTEXT

Trump and McConnell have pushed the country to the edge of a completely avoidable cliff — and now 30 million Americans are left wondering if they will be able to pay next week’s bills.

  • There was absolutely no reason for Trump and McConnell to drag their feet and push workers, families, and the economy all the way up to this deadline.
  • The House passed legislation extending enhanced unemployment benefits on May 15th — more than two months ago — and Democrats have been united in making it clear that extending further was a critical provision for any deal.
  • If Trump and McConnell don’t end their obstruction, millions of families face eviction and tens of millions of families won’t be able to pay their bills and risk losing their health insurance during a pandemic — including the estimated 41% of unemployed workers whose insurance was lost along with their job, and many of whom are paying hundreds of dollars extra for COBRA.

Now that Trump and McConnell have delayed all the way to the deadline, Republicans are divided and in disarray, and are now rightfully worried that they will be blamed for the completely avoidable economic impact of inaction.

REMINDER >> Tomorrow we are going to learn just how much the economy shrunk in the second quarter of 2020 — and the Trump-McConnell proposal would cause millions more jobs to be lost and reduce GDP by another 2.47%.

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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.