Navigating Coronavirus — May 21

In today’s email, we take a look at Trump’s foolish attempts to attack President Obama, the way he constantly ignores, overrules, and now blames medical experts, and how marginalized communities will suffer the most from his rush to prematurely reopen the country. New polling data focuses on how Americans are increasingly blaming Trump — and placing their trust in Democrats to lead us out of this…

SINCE IT’S IN THE NEWS…

  • Trump’s decision to start attacking President Obama is really dumb, since he’s way more popular than Trump. Obama’s net favorability is a whopping 39 points better than Trump’s — Obama +26 (62–36%) vs. Trump -13 (43–56%). Even a quarter of Republicans view Obama favorably!
  • ALSO: Trump’s attacks just aren’t working: very, very few people believe his false claim that Obama left us unprepared for coronavirus.

THE LATEST

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

1. TRUMP “MUZZLED” THE NATION’S TOP HEALTH EXPERTS.

Americans overwhelmingly trust the CDC over Trump to tell the truth and get us through this crisis, but Trump won’t allow them to keep Americans safe as he ignores the agency’s guidance and may fire its director.

  • CNN: “CDC officials say their agency’s efforts to mount a coordinated response to the Covid-19 pandemic have been hamstrung by a White House whose decisions are driven by politics rather than science.”
  • CDC OFFICIAL >> “What’s tough is that if we would have acted earlier on what we knew and recommended, we would have saved lives and money.”
  • Weeks after states began reopening without guidance, the White House just yesterday let the CDC release science-based detailed guidelines for reopening. But according to a CDC official, the administration forced them to ease some of the social distancing recommendations they had planned.

Trump’s constant desire to blame, downplay, and ignore the experts is alarming.

  • NEW NAVIGATOR DATA >> The top concern Americans have about Trump’s behavior is that he “has too often made decisions that have ignored or overruled the advice of health and medical experts” (64%).

2. TRUMP’S RUSH TO PREMATURELY END SOCIAL DISTANCING IS DANGEROUS.

Trump’s rush to hold rallies and sporting events might be his most dangerous idea yet, as he pushes states to end social distancing while we learn that large gatherings could cause the most serious infections.

  • WSJ: “Researchers believe that the explosive growth of coronavirus infections that overwhelmed hospitals in some countries was primarily driven by [mass public events] earlier this year … A more surprising finding is that mass infections tend to be more serious than those contracted in other circumstances, perhaps because of sustained exposure to a larger amount of virus.”
  • AP POLL: “83% of Americans are at least somewhat concerned that lifting restrictions in their area will lead to additional infections”

Trump is responsible for putting people at risk, causing more infections and deaths.

  • NEW NAVIGATOR DATA >> The number of Americans that find Trump responsible for the large death toll has gone up 11 points in a month (61%).

3. TRUMP IS PUTTING HIS OWN POLITICAL INTERESTS AHEAD OF AMERICANS’ SAFETY.

Trump is threatening to endanger Americans in order to suppress the vote.

  • ABC: “President Donald Trump says he wants to hold up coronavirus funding for Michigan and Nevada because the states are trying to make it easier to vote during the outbreak”
  • “Notably, the president did not threaten Republican-run states that are doing the same thing as Michigan.”

NAVIGATOR TRACKING NUMBERS . . .

TODAY’S POLLING DECK >> HERE

FULL TOPLINES >> HERE

  • Americans continue to sour on Trump’s response to coronavirus. The number of Americans calling Trump’s response a “failure” is rising, as a majority say he has made things worse.
  • Democrats are more trusted than Trump to lead the coronavirus response, as a majority of Americans continue to say Trump isn’t doing enough. Since we began tracking polls on March 23, the Democratic advantage on responding to the pandemic has grown 15 points (from -6 to +9).

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 the disparate impact of Trump’s policies on Black workers and low-income families.

As President Trump and his administration try to force workers back on the job, remember: It’s Black workers, low-income families, and the most marginalized communities who are impacted the most.

  • A devastating new report shows that Black Americans are dying from coronavirus at more than double the rate of whites across the country — and more than five times the rate in some states.
  • We are also learning now that, even in states where coronavirus cases are going down, they continue to rise in low-income communities.
  • Black and Latinx workers are much less likely to be in jobs that allow for telework, so “reopening the economy” before it’s safe has a disproportionate impact on them and their families.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Black Americans never fully recovered from the last recession, and Trump’s refusal to address racial disparities in health care and the economy is making this crisis so much worse for Black communities than it had to be.

ONE MORE THING . . .

WATCH AND SHARE >> Countries that acted quickly to contain coronavirus are recovering, but because Trump downplayed this crisis, we are expecting 3,000 deaths a day by June.

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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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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.