Navigating Coronavirus — May 28

In today’s email, we look at new polling on health care, Trump’s attempted distractions, and how he is at odds with Dr. Fauci on how to prevent a second wave outbreak. And as we expect another round of bad unemployment numbers this morning, a reminder that Trump and McConnell want to cut off benefits soon.

Read on for today’s Navigating Coronavirus…

It’s been 91 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 102,000 deaths.


  • TANKING >> Trump’s approval on health care. Approval among key demographics:
  • 38% overall
  • Just 25% of Independents
  • Only 45% of seniors 65+
  • Democrats have a huge advantage on pandemic health issues. On protecting people with preexisting conditions, improving the health care system, responding to the coronavirus outbreak, and all health-related questions, new Navigator polling reveals Americans trust congressional Democrats more than Trump by double digits.


  • The killing of Ahmaud Arbery broke through coronavirus coverage, while Trump-manufactured controversies like “Obamagate” are gaining far less traction. 80% of Americans have heard some or a lot about the killing, far more than Trump’s distractions. Even among Republicans, only a third have heard a lot about “Obamagate.”


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


As we surpassed 100,000 American deaths, Trump has pushed the country to prematurely end social distancing, even asking North Carolina in the last few days to commit to holding the GOP convention without knowing how severe the virus will be in August.

  • Trump’s rush is at odds with health experts like Dr. Fauci who warn that a second wave outbreak is “not inevitable,” but only if we keep responsibly social distancing.
  • FAUCI: “Don’t start leapfrogging over the recommendations of some of the guidelines because that’s really tempting fate and asking for trouble.”

Across the board, Trump is ignoring experts to deride protective measures — taking positions that are wildly out of step with the American people, and even many in his own party.

  • WAPO: “Trump’s mockery of wearing masks divides Republicans”
  • FAUCI: “It shows you have respect for other people and they have respect for you. You wear a mask to protect them and they do the same to you.”




  • Obamacare is very popular — and it’s gotten more popular over the last year. Favorability for the ACA has climbed 11 points since June 2019 (from 46% to 57%) — and somewhat surprisingly, a third of Republicans like it, a jump of 13 points since last year (from 19% to 32%).
  • ALSO >> The GOP lawsuit to repeal ACA is very unpopular. For example, just 27% of Independents and 36% of seniors 65+ support it.
  • PANDEMIC IMPACT >> Majorities have very serious concerns amidst the pandemic that Republicans would let insurers charge more to people with preexisting conditions like coronavirus or take away people’s insurance coverage by repealing Obamacare.
  • Americans see Trump as a failure who cares more about his image than the country. 52% describe Trump’s response to this crisis as a failure and 57% say Trump handled this crisis worse than other presidents would have, something even 22% of Republicans agree with.
  • Americans believe Trump is trying to distract from his failed response by blaming others like President Obama. Nearly two-thirds of Americans describe Trump’s response as “self-absorbed” and “unprepared.”


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 this morning’s unemployment filings.

This morning we’re going to hear about the latest round of workers applying for unemployment — bringing us to an expected 40 million unemployed since this crisis began.

  • As the number of unemployed workers continues to pile up and workers face the worst job market since the Great Depression, Trump and his allies are trying to end unemployment benefits in July — whether or not the crisis is over by then.
  • This is another important reminder: Economic policies are choices, and Trump is choosing to help Wall Street and big business instead of workers and families, who are the true heart of our economy.

Trump is acting like we need to choose between our health and the economy, but the reality is that they are one and the same.

  • The economy isn’t the stock market or massive corporations — it’s people.
  • The path to true economic recovery runs through listening to public health experts, keeping workers safe, and helping families keep their heads above the water until this public health crisis is over.


WATCH >> “There has been so much unnecessary death in this country.” — Donald Trump, in his own words

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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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