Navigating Coronavirus — June 26

First, a quick programming note: we won’t have emails on Saturdays in the weeks ahead, but we’ll still be in your inbox at 5:45am Monday to Friday, including new Navigator polling every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

In today’s email, we have new polling on how Americans feel about the Republican tax cuts amidst the pandemic, and we look at how the scale of this crisis is likely so much worse than we know, with a new CDC warning and another 1.5 million unemployed.

Read on for today’s Navigating Coronavirus…

It’s been 118 days since President Trump said we’d soon have zero cases in the U.S. We now have 2.5 million cases and more than 126,000 deaths.

THE LATEST

1. TRUMP IS MAKING THIS CRISIS SO MUCH WORSE — FIRST BY FAILING TO ACT, AND NOW ACTIVELY MAKING IT HARDER TO FIGHT THE PANDEMIC.

Trump refused to take this crisis seriously, which has left us with 14 straight weeks of more than a million Americans filing unemployment claims, and now he’s encouraging an unsafe reopening, opposing masks, and holding rallies as the infection rate shoots through the roof — and is probably a lot higher than we even know.

  • The Hill: “Nearly 25 million Americans may have contracted the coronavirus, a figure ten times higher than the number of confirmed cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.”
  • Dr. Sanjay Gupta: “These predictions wouldn’t be nearly as high if we’d been testing aggressively early.”
  • Baylor College of Medicine Doctor: Models tracking the infection rate are “on the verge of being apocalyptic.”
  • White House official: Trump “will never change on the mask. He doesn’t want that picture. He knows masks are important, but he doesn’t want that image or to admit he is wrong.”

It didn’t have to be like this >>

2. TRUMP FORCED THE COUNTRY BACKWARDS.

For weeks, the number of cases have been going up, and now we are right back where we started 3 months ago — with states forced to reimpose tougher standards as outbreaks grow. This is a unique problem for our country because of the president’s failure to lead a national response to crush the pandemic and eagerness to push an unsafe reopening.

  • CNN: “Texas governor halts reopening as coronavirus crisis grows”
  • WBTV: “Gov. Cooper: N.C. to ‘pause’ in Phase 2 for three more weeks”

Economically, this is unique to America, too. For example, multinational businesses like Apple and Disney have safely reopened operations in other countries, but here in America — thanks to Trump’s failed government response — they are staying closed, further damaging the economy.

  • USA Today: “Apple re-closes more stores due to spikes in coronavirus cases. Is your store temporarily closed?”
  • CNN: “Disney is postponing the reopening of Disneyland”

But Trump is living in an alternate reality, where he boasts about the economy despite how his actions are destroying it.

And yes — he’ll spend this weekend golfing in New Jersey, violating health guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

NAVIGATOR TRACKING NUMBERS . . .

TODAY’S TOPLINES >> HERE

  • Amidst the pandemic, Americans remain unsatisfied with the Republicans’ 2017 tax law. Over the last 8 months, support for the $1.5 trillion GOP tax bill has fallen 6 points overall and 12 points among Republicans, as 61% of Americans say the law has had a negative or no impact on their own personal finances.
  • As we face historic unemployment and a sagging economy, Americans do not believe Trump and Republicans improved the economy or the job market with their tax bill.
  • Amidst the pandemic, Americans want to raise taxes on the wealthy and repeal the GOP tax cuts. Three in five Americans believe taxing the wealthy will help an economic recovery.

ECONOMIC CRISIS IN CONTEXT

Another 1.5 million workers filed for unemployment last week, making this the 14th week in a row that more than a million workers filed for benefits in Trump’s economy.

Trump and his allies remain committed to cutting off emergency benefits and cutting 30 million people’s income by $600 a week in the middle of a pandemic — but this would be an economic and moral calamity.

  • Trump and his allies are trying to act like this crisis is over now that Wall Street and big business got their bailouts, but if they are able to cut off expanded benefits before this crisis is over, then the Trump recession will be far longer and deeper than it needs to be.
  • Giving workers a lifeline that allows them to stay home during a pandemic will help end this pandemic sooner, which will be good for workers and the economy. And no worker should have to choose between their health and their ability to put food on the table.
  • READ: “People receiving unemployment benefits are actually more likely to look for jobs, new study finds”
  • REMINDER: 75% of Americans don’t want expanded unemployment benefits to be cut off in July.

Meanwhile, the stock market continues to hit new highs, because the stock market is not the economy.

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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.