Navigating Coronavirus — May 27

Navigating Coronavirus
6 min readMay 27, 2020

In today’s email, we look at new polling on how Americans feel about masks (spoiler: they really don’t like Trump not wearing one, and think people who don’t wear them are irresponsible), sentiment on reopening and Trump’s dangerous rush to end social distancing, and how Trump is pushing to force Americans back into unsafe working conditions while helping out big business.

Read on for today’s Navigating Coronavirus…

It’s been 90 days since President Trump said we’d soon have zero cases in the U.S. We now have 1.7 million cases and more than 100,000 deaths.


  • Trump is way out of step with Americans on masks. Trump may be mocking Joe Biden for wearing a mask, but new Navigator polling reveals 65% of Americans disapprove of Trump’s decision not to wear a mask. They believe not wearing a mask is “irresponsible” (more on that in the Navigator section below) and that, by not wearing a mask, Trump is encouraging others to do the same, putting people at risk.
  • MORE >> 74% of Americans — including a majority of Republicans — identify as “pro-mask.” Only 18% of the public says they’re “anti-mask.”


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


More than 100,000 Americans are now dead on Trump’s watch after he promised coronavirus would disappear in April and that we would only see 60,000 cases. Instead of mourning this staggering loss of life, Trump has been tweeting about the stock market, golfing, and peddling conspiracy theories.

  • THE WHITE HOUSE RESPONSE >> “The president did everything in his power and helped to make this number as low as humanly possible.”

But that’s a lie.

And Trump’s actions now are putting even more lives at risk as more trying times remain ahead of us.


Trump is making us less safe by pushing to reopen while cases are increasing across the country — and this weekend we saw the damage rolling back social distancing too soon.

  • CNN: “Just as Covid-19 cases keep rising in 17 states, holiday revelers cram together without masks”
  • AP: “Trump’s convention demand comes amid Charlotte coronavirus surge”
  • NEW NAVIGATOR DATA >> 80% of Americans are worried that other people are not following precautions, like wearing masks and social distancing, which will spread the virus. 75% are worried that others who are infected with coronavirus could get them sick.




  • People are very worried about the actions of their fellow Americans. We saw examples this weekend of crowds ignoring social distancing guidelines and people refusing to wear masks in public places on Memorial Day, and new Navigator polling reveals 80% of Americans are worried about actions like this.
  • MORE >> The top descriptor Americans assign to people who act this way: “Irresponsible.”
  • As Trump rushes to reopen the country unsafely, he remains at odds with the majority of Americans. 55% oppose reopening in the next few weeks, but Republican sentiment does seem to be shifting to align with Trump.
  • HOWEVER >> 59% remain concerned that social distancing will end too soon vs. just 29% concerned it’ll go on too long, and very few want to speed up reopening their home states.
  • People think Trump is dumb for taking hydroxychloroquine. Just 28% approve of his decision to take it. Somewhat comically, fewer than half of Americans actually believe he is even taking it. Primarily, people are concerned that he is promoting an unproven drug with dangerous side effects.


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 Trump’s continued prioritization of big business over workers and families.

While people across the country are focused on keeping themselves, their families, and their communities healthy — Trump and his allies continue prioritizing Wall Street and corporate profits.

  • Despite polls showing overwhelming support for extending unemployment benefits, Trump and his allies are plotting to cut workers off, which would not only be devastating for them and their families, but would also spell disaster for an economy that is already deeply damaged.
  • New polling shows that voters, by a 2-to-1 margin, support automatically increasing social spending during a crisis, which would prevent workers and families from being used as hostages by Trump and his allies to secure more for Wall Street and big business.
  • While they are asking workers to risk their health and lives, Trump and his allies are shamelessly pushing for another tax break for the wealthiest Americans.
  • Half of Americans don’t have a penny invested in the stock market, while the wealthiest 10% own 84% of all stocks. The top 1 percent of households received three-quarters of all long-term capital gains — and would stand to benefit the most from a tax break.
  • REMINDER: Despite what conservatives claim, tax breaks for the rich don’t trickle down to workers and don’t help the economy grow. They just help the rich get richer.


WATCH AND SHARE >> What defines Trump’s presidency? 100,000 dead Americans, a collapsed economy, more cases than any other country in the world, and utter chaos.

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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.