Navigating Coronavirus — May 20

Navigating Coronavirus
6 min readMay 20, 2020

It’s been 83 days since President Trump said we’d soon have zero cases in the U.S. We now have 1.570,000 cases and 93,500 deaths — more deaths than any other country in the world.


  • Approval of Trump’s handling of coronavirus hits a new low. Only 40% of Americans — and just 32% of Independents — approve of Trump on coronavirus, the lowest so far in Navigator tracking.


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


Not only is Trump ignoring his own FDA’s warnings about the risks of taking hydroxychloroquine, now he’s attacking the doctors and experts who studied the drug, calling the scientific analysis that it can be harmful a “Trump enemy statement” and a false study.”

  • DAILY BEAST: “The President of the United States is slamming a hydroxychloroquine study backed by his own government as ‘a Trump enemy statement’ because it found that the drug had no benefits in treating coronavirus.”

This is just the latest example of Trump’s disdain for experts — he also continues to refuse to follow CDC guidance on wearing a mask, despite scientific proof they help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

  • CNN: “President Trump arrives to Senate GOP lunch, without a mask”
  • CNBC: Trump may not wear a mask while touring a Michigan Ford factory later this week, despite Ford telling the White House he will have to
  • CNBC: “Experiments by a team in Hong Kong found that the coronavirus’ transmission rate via respiratory droplets or airborne particles dropped by as much as 75% when surgical masks were used.”

Trump needs to stop endangering people and listen to the experts.

  • NEW NAVIGATOR DATA >> 64% of Americans, the highest in Navigator’s tracking, now have serious concerns that Trump too often ignores experts, a 10-point increase in the last two months.
  • MORE >> 59% have serious concerns that Trump’s words put people’s lives at risk as he promotes dangerous medical advice — including 66% of women under age 55.


Trump and his allies are trying to lie about the state of our economy to get out of sending much-needed aid to America’s first responders, teachers, and hospitals and those who have lost their jobs because of his failures.

  • WAPO: “White House officials are increasingly predicting a swift economic recovery as they break off talks with Congress on additional federal stimulus.”
  • “The White House’s rosy view of the U.S. economy’s trajectory clashes with the dire predictions of many mainstream economists, as well as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell”
  • ONE WEEK AGO >> “Fed chair Powell warns of ‘lasting’ economic damage without more stimulus”
  • NEW NAVIGATOR DATA >> 54% of Americans, including 57% of Independents, believe that the federal government needs to do more to improve the economy, as 82% of Americans believe we are in a recession or headed towards one.




  • CDC and Fauci remain trusted leaders on coronavirus, despite Trump and his allies’ efforts to blame and discredit them. 57% of Americans don’t trust Trump to tell the truth about coronavirus — while just 15% don’t trust Fauci and 18% don’t trust the CDC.
  • AND >> By 31 points, Americans trust Fauci more than Trump to decide when to reopen the country. Even a third of Republicans trust Fauci more.
  • The majority of Americans opposes reopening in the next few weeks. Six in ten Americans oppose it, as the same number are concerned social distancing will end too soon.
  • MORE >> Recent images of crowding in public give Americans serious concerns, with 84% (including 72% of Republicans) saying people are acting irresponsibly by crowding in places like beaches and restaurants.
  • This is largely because Americans still see first solving the health crisis as critical to opening the economy. Americans remain more concerned about their health and the health of their loved ones than their financial situation, so Trump’s incessant push to reopen as soon as possible is at odds with Americans’ anxieties about what is required to reopen safely.
  • MORE >> 56% of Americans also say Trump is too focused on the economic impacts of coronavirus, instead of getting the balance right between health and the economy.


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 yesterday’s Senate testimony by Treasury Secretary Mnuchin.

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin’s Senate testimony revealed how Trump is putting Wall Street and massive corporations ahead of workers

  • Mnuchin claimed to agree that no worker should die to help the stock market — but then continued to push for workers to be forced back on the job without additional protections and before public health experts say it’s safe.
  • He talked about “permanent damage” to the economy if businesses don’t open soon — but ignored the permanent damage that would be caused to families, workers, and the economy if they lose their health, their lives, or their economic security during this crisis.
  • Mnuchin reiterated that the Trump administration wants workers who don’t want to return to work before it’s safe to be punished by losing their unemployment benefits.
  • This will force workers to choose between their paychecks and their health, and it will end up prolonging this public health crisis and hurting the economy.
  • Trump reportedly wants to go even further and opposes extending the expanded unemployment benefits that workers and families are depending on as this crisis continues.
  • Mnuchin wouldn’t even commit to forcing massive corporations that got federal bailout money to keep their workers on the payroll.

The bottom line: The Trump administration cares more about helping Wall Street and massive corporations than protecting and supporting workers and families — and that is not just wrong, it’s bad for the economy.


TODAY AT 2 PM >> Over 24 hours, participants will be #NamingTheLost coronavirus victims in an online vigil to humanize and honor each person lost in this crisis. Click here to learn more: Facebook Event and Website Sign up.

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.