Navigating Coronavirus — May 22

In today’s email, we look at Trump’s persistent efforts to make this crisis worse, including shrugging off a second wave outbreak, and his and Republicans’ willingness to screw over struggling Americans even as we learn that nearly 40 million Americans have lost their jobs during this crisis.

New polling data reveals trouble for Republicans in opposing the HEROES Act — and a new finding on how best to message against Republicans’ efforts to leave people with pre-existing conditions vulnerable amidst coronavirus.

Read on for today’s Navigating Coronavirus…

It’s been 85 days since President Trump said we’d soon have zero cases in the U.S. We now have 1,620,000 cases and 96,000 deaths — more deaths than any other country in the world.


  • MORE >> Democrats also have a strong advantage on who their proposals benefit — and it gets even higher when Americans hear more about the HEROES Act.



Trump’s chaotic response made this crisis worse, and his failure to act early on has cost tens of thousands of lives and left 40 million unemployed. If Trump had taken the pandemic seriously from the beginning, this all could have been different.

  • NYT: “If the country had begun locking down cities and limiting social contact on March 1, two weeks earlier than when most people started staying home, a vast majority of the nation’s deaths — about 83 percent — would have been avoided, the researchers estimated.”
  • CNN: Trump lashed out at the study, calling it a “political hit job.” (It was an NIH-funded report from Columbia University.)
  • NBC: “Another 2,440,000 Americans filed initial unemployment claims last week, bringing the total number of people who lost a job during the pandemic to nearly 40,000,000.

And as new models project U.S. coronavirus deaths doubling in two months due to reopening, Trump says he will not close the country if there is a second wave outbreak.

  • REALITY >> This dangerous behavior from the President of the United States is going to get people killed. Everyone wants to reopen, but it has to be done safely. Trump saying now that he plans to let people freely spread the virus in a second wave will make this worse.
  • NEW NAVIGATOR DATA >> 62% of Americans, including 63% of Independents, have serious concerns that Trump was downplaying the threat of coronavirus when he should have been preparing. And now a “second wave” tops the list of what has Americans “very worried.”


Trump is ignoring health guidance as he downplays the crisis, pushes states to prematurely end social distancing, and distracts trusted local officials from keeping their constituents safe.

  • NPR: “Baltimore Mayor out with a message ahead of Trump’s planned visit. Says non-essential travel sends the wrong message.”
  • The Hill: “Michigan Attorney General: If Trump ‘fails to wear a mask, he’s going to be asked not to return to any enclosed facility inside our state’”
  • Trump didn’t wear the mask.
  • Montgomery (AL) Mayor Steven Reed: “Right now, if you are from Montgomery and you need an ICU bed, you are in trouble. If you’re from central Alabama, and you need an ICU bed, you may not be able to get one. Our health care system has been maxed out.”

Trump should listen to the local leaders Americans trust to keep them safe.

  • NEW NAVIGATOR DATA >> 61% of Americans trust their state and local leaders to handle the coronavirus response over Trump (25%).



  • Adding coronavirus to arguments about protecting health care for people with pre-existing conditions is effective. As Trump and Republicans continue to try to scrap the ACA, it’s important to note that their efforts would let insurance companies deny coverage to people who have had coronavirus because it’s now a pre-existing condition.
  • Americans support past rescue legislation but are increasingly concerned the relief will favor the wealthy. 78% of Americans still support the earlier relief bills passed through Congress, but are concerned with where the money is going. In a month, there’s been a 5-point increase in the number of Americans who believe the relief bills will give too much to the wealthy and not the people who need it most.


Another 2.4 million workers filed for unemployment benefits — bringing the total to nearly 40 MILLION in nine weeks — yet Trump continues to put Wall Street ahead of workers.

  • Trump and his allies try to claim (falsely) that extending robust and desperately needed unemployment benefits could prevent workers from returning to work — but workers shouldn’t have to choose between their health and a paycheck during a pandemic.
  • Cutting off benefits to help big businesses open up earlier isn’t just wrong, it’s bad for the economy and will make this crisis deeper and last longer.
  • This is exactly why Congress should implement automatic triggers to ensure support for workers and families continues as long as this crisis does — because people’s lives and livelihoods shouldn’t be thrown into flux every time conservatives refuse to act or push their harmful rightwing agenda.

NEW REPORT >> As 40 million Americans have lost their jobs and many workers are barely keeping their heads above water, America’s billionaires got $434 billion richer during the pandemic.

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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.