Navigating Coronavirus — May 12

Navigating Coronavirus
6 min readMay 12, 2020

It’s been 75 days since President Trump said we’d soon have zero cases in the U.S. We now have 1,385,000 cases and 81,700 deaths — more deaths than any other country in the world.


  • Trump doesn’t have this crisis under control — and Americans know it. As Trump proclaims victory, the American people are deeply worried about a “second wave” outbreak and the number of Americans who say “the worst is yet to come” is ticking back up.


Message guidance on the latest developments with President Trump’s handling of the crisis.


Trump may want to move on from dealing with this crisis, but millions could become infected and thousands more could die because of his failure to re-open the country safely.

  • Trump keeps lying about testing >> Trump on Monday: “If somebody wants to be tested right now, they’ll be able to be tested.”
  • Asked if that was true, Republican Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio said simply:No.”
  • And he keeps downplaying the threat >> Trump on Monday: “The numbers are coming down very rapidly all throughout the country.”
  • NBC reported Monday night: “Unreleased White House report shows coronavirus rates spiking in heartland communities”


Trump is willing to put Americans in danger, as long as it doesn’t happen to him.

  • HYPOCRISY >> Trump has said the American people don’t need more testing and mocked the need to wear masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus, but now he is rushing to get his own staff tested and forcing them to wear masks because he fears getting the virus.
  • ABC: “White House directs West Wing Staff to wear masks at all times in the building with only exception being when an employee is at their own desk”
  • CNN: “The President has told people he doesn’t want to be near anyone who hasn’t been tested.”
  • CNN: “The latest developments pose an essential question: If people around Trump are not protected from the virus in the most highly secured workplace in the country, how can it be safe for anyone else to go back to work?”
  • They should be wearing masks at the White House, and Trump and his team should get regularly tested.
  • But here’s the deal: Every American should have the same opportunity before being forced onto the job.
  • Trump has so far failed to expand testing to the level medical experts say is safe for Americans to return to daily life, and his constant downplaying and refusal to take responsibility are making this crisis worse.

The rush to prematurely re-open the country is dangerous, as the outbreak at Trump’s own White House is now revealing, and Americans overwhelmingly agree.

  • NEW NAVIGATOR DATA >> 80% of Americans believe we either need to maintain current social distancing or increase it to keep everyone safe, including 87% of Independents. Only 17% of Americans believe we should relax social distancing. 60% are concerned we will end social distancing too soon and put American lives at risk.


Trump’s slow response has left medical facilities across the country without the life-saving resources they need, and now doctors are questioning how his administration is deciding where and when to send out remdesivir, the promising treatment drug.

  • ABC: “Hospitals frustrated with limited remdesivir to treat coronavirus patients”
  • MICHIGAN: “Michigan Medicine, the University of Michigan health system, this week was denied doses of the antiviral medicine remdesivir after requesting it for COVID-19 patients, officials said.” (The Detroit News)
  • ILLINOIS: “The 140 cases of remdesivir Illinois received Saturday contain enough vials to treat approximately 700 patients — about five patients per case. But there’s not enough to go around, in Illinois or elsewhere. As of Sunday, there are 1,232 patients across Illinois in intensive care units, 709 of whom are on ventilators, with the number of cases continuing to rise.”




  • Americans have the most faith in leaders who are keeping social distancing guidelines in place. Governors who maintained stay-at-home orders have an even higher approval than those who have started a partial rollback. Republican governors of states that have partially reopened have the lowest approval ratings on handling the pandemic.
  • Americans remain most concerned about health and that seems to be driving sustained support for continuing social distancing. Over the past week, we’ve seen a 5-point increase in the share who are more concerned about the impact of the pandemic on people’s health rather than the economy as a whole, as 6 in 10 Americans remain concerned social distancing will end too soon.


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 conservatives’ predictable renewed focus on the deficit and debt.

Now that Wall Street and massive corporations have been bailed out, Trump’s conservative allies have suddenly decided to feign concern about the federal deficit and debt in an attempt to block support for workers and families.

  • Republicans expressing concern about the deficit and debt right now are like arsonists expressing concern about water damage from the fire hoses.
  • Massive government investments directed at workers and families is what we need to fix the economic problems that conservatives created.
  • Remember: Conservatives were proven wrong about the deficit and debt when they used it as an excuse to limit the federal response to the Great Recession, and they are wrong about it now.

Conservatives need to answer for their blatant deficit and debt hypocrisy.

  • Where was this concern when they handed trillions of dollars in tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations?
  • Where was this concern when Senate Republicans jammed a tax break for millionaires into Congress’ coronavirus response legislation?
  • Why does this concern only pop up when debate is focused on helping workers and families?
  • The idea that additional government spending will “crowd out” private investments or cause inflation doesn’t make any sense in an economy like this one.
  • In addition to helping families make it through this public health crisis, smart federal investments will help drive demand, which will push businesses to invest, increase wages, and help our economy recover in a way that works for everyone, not just the wealthy and well-connected.

Here is the reality: With historically low interest rates, it’s smart economics for the federal government to go big on investments that will help workers and families now and put our economy on stronger footing over the long-run.


SHARE >> tracking the Trump administration’s complete failure to deliver on the promise of widely accessible coronavirus tests.

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

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Navigating Coronavirus

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