Navigating Coronavirus — June 24
In today’s email, we have new polling on coronavirus, including how “wrong track” is at an all-time high, more believe the “worst is yet to come,” and broad concerns about reopening too quickly persist. We also look at Trump’s damning admission he wasn’t joking about slowing down testing and at new reports revealing the urgent need for more federal action to save the economy.
Read on for today’s Navigating Coronavirus…
- NEW NAVIGATOR POLL >> The number of Americans who say the country’s on the wrong track hits record high. 71% marks the highest point in Navigator tracking, as 58% disapprove of Trump’s job as president.
Message guidance on the latest developments with President Trump’s handling of the crisis.
1. TRUMP GIVES UP ON TESTING, AS HE TRIPLES DOWN ON ANTI-TESTING COMMENTS.
Trump insists he was serious about wanting to slow down testing — which makes sense, given we’re learning his administration is giving up on expanding testing even as top health experts warn coronavirus is exploding across the country.
- TPM: “Feds About To Bail On Supporting COVID Testing Sites In Texas And Other States”
- “The Trump administration is ending funding and support for local COVID-19 testing sites around the country this month, as cases and hospitalizations are skyrocketing in many states.”
- WAPO: “Fauci says country is seeing ‘disturbing surge’ of infections”
- “Contrary to statements from President Trump and Vice President Pence that the recent increase in infections was largely due to an increase in testing, Fauci said the surges in more than a dozen states were largely attributable to an increase in community transmission.”
Now, Trump’s failure to take the crisis seriously and implement a plan to contain the outbreak has even made the United States a threat to the rest of the world.
2. BEING ANTI-TESTING WON’T MAKE THIS WORSENING CRISIS DISAPPEAR.
At another dangerously crowded political rally last night in Arizona — one of America’s coronavirus epicenters right now — Trump said we’re “hopefully at the end of the pandemic,” ignoring the reality that half of U.S. states are seeing a rise in coronavirus cases. Trump has completely failed to tackle the first wave of this virus.
- CNN: CDC director: Covid-19 has ‘brought this nation to its knees’
- KHOU: “Texas Children’s Hospital admitting adult patients to free up hospital beds in Houston”
- ABC: “Dallas hospital forced to create additional COVID-19 space after running out of room”
- NBC: “Florida coronavirus: More than 3K new cases reported, positive tests increasing in younger age group”
Experts know there is one thing above all that will help the country get this pandemic under control — and it’s the very thing Trump opposes: more testing.
- PBS: “Fauci tells Congress more testing needed to combat ‘disturbing surge’ in virus”
NAVIGATOR TRACKING NUMBERS . . .
TODAY’S POLLING DECK >> HERE
- A majority of Americans now say the worst is yet to come on coronavirus, as the share of Americans who want more aggressive social distancing is at its highest point since April 13. Public opinion is strikingly at odds with Trump’s declaration of a pandemic victory and his rush to return to the campaign trail with big rallies.
- Democrats in Congress and Governors continue to best Trump, despite his attacks. Congressional Democrats are more trusted on key coronavirus issues, including safely reopening the country (+10) and responding to the pandemic’s economic impact (+3), and Governors still have much higher approval than Trump — especially Democratic Governors and Governors in states where cases are not increasing.
- Americans are broadly concerned with reopening too quickly, especially in states where cases are increasing. Likewise, nearly two-thirds of Americans believe cases are increasing across the country, even as Trump tries to claim “we’ve done too good a job.”
ECONOMIC CRISIS IN CONTEXT
The latest on how the economic crisis sparked by coronavirus is actually fueled by years of President Trump’s conservative economic policies, focusing today on
A new report yesterday highlights that cities and states are now cutting investments in roads, water systems, and other critical infrastructure as Trump’s recession continues to hit hard.
- This is devastating for the construction workers and local contractors who will lose their jobs, and it comes on top of the estimated 1.5 million teachers, firefighters, and other key workers who have already been laid off as state and local governments cut their budgets.
- Cutting budgets and jobs is exactly the opposite of what governments should be doing in the midst of a recession, and it’s going to make this Trump recession far longer and deeper than it needs to be unless Congress acts quickly.
- State and local governments are often constrained by balanced budget requirements and have to choose between raising taxes or cutting jobs and services when a recession hits.
- This is why it’s so important for Congress to step in to support state and local governments, save jobs across the country, and help the economy emerge from this recession as quickly as possible.
- And what’s Trump’s response? More tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations.
- CONTEXT >> Austerity budgets at the federal and state levels have hollowed out governments’ ability to properly respond to financial crises and have left workers and the overall economy more vulnerable to economic downturns like the one we’re seeing now.
- REMINDER >> 12 million more Americans would have fallen into poverty if not for government support — and millions more will fall into poverty if that support is cut off.
ONE LAST THING . . .
WATCH AND SHARE >> Trump promised we’d start winning again, but in this crisis we have lost more than 120,000 lives and so much more.
Navigating Coronavirus is a joint project of Governing for Impact, Groundwork Collaborative, The Hub Project, and Navigator Research.
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