Navigating Coronavirus — May 7
- Americans remain deeply concerned by Trump’s early downplaying and inaction — but for the first time, we are seeing indications of current actions garnering greater concerns among Americans. It is important to continue focusing on how Trump downplayed the threat of the virus early on and has ignored or overruled experts — but there is now serious salience in emphasizing how he is putting lives at risk by rushing to prematurely re-open the country and promoting dangerous medical advice.
Message guidance on the latest developments with President Trump’s handling of the crisis.
1. Trump may be tired of dealing with coronavirus, but it continues to be a crisis hurting millions of Americans.
- NYT: “For every indication of improvement in controlling the virus, new outbreaks have emerged elsewhere, leaving the nation stuck in a steady, unrelenting march of deaths and infections.”
- NEW NAVIGATOR DATA >> A third of Americans (33%) know someone who has been infected with coronavirus, and more than 1 in 10 Americans now know someone who has died from the disease.
Trump’s desire to prematurely end social distancing to re-open the country is self-absorbed — he just wants to move on, while thousands more die — and it’s seriously out of touch with the American people.
- MORE NEW DATA >> 61% oppose re-opening the country in the next few weeks and 60% remain afraid social distancing will end too soon and prolong the pandemic, endangering both the economy and American lives.
- AND >> 72% are more worried about the health and well-being of their families over their financial situation (28%).
2. Trump is more focused on avoiding responsibility than leading us out of this crisis.
Instead of focusing on how to stop this crisis and slow the spread of coronavirus, Trump is trying to manipulate data to make himself look better and avoid blame.
- AXIOS: “A senior administration official said he expects the president to begin publicly questioning the death toll as it closes in on his predictions for the final death count and damages him politically.”
- REALITY CHECK >> “Fauci was asked at one point whether he thought deaths were being inflated. He said no, if anything they were being undercounted.” (CBS)
NEW NAVIGATOR TRACKING NUMBERS . . .
TODAY’S POLLING DECK >> HERE
FULL TOPLINES >> HERE
- Americans are seriously worried about a “second wave” of coronavirus. 85% of the public, including 76% of Independents and 73% of Republicans, express worries about a future outbreak — as more and more Americans believe it will be a long time before we can return to normal.
- MESSAGE >> Keep emphasizing that Trump’s rush to prematurely re-open the country will make a second outbreak more likely and more severe. His actions are going to get more Americans infected and killed.
- Almost all Americans believe we did the right thing by social distancing — while only a small fraction believes it’s time to relax these measures. 89% of the public, including 82% of Republicans and 81% of Independents, say social distancing was the right thing to do — and just 17% say we need to relax now.
- REALITY CHECK >> For all the coverage rightwing protests against social distancing orders have received, 79% of Americans say we need to keep doing what we’re doing or implement even stricter measures — including 69% of Republicans.
- Despite Trump and Kushner declarations, Americans do not buy that Trump’s response has been “a success story.” Even a third of Republicans agree his response has been unsuccessful.
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 latest reports of Trump’s economic collapse.
The consequences of Trump’s policies are becoming clearer every day, and they are just as devastating as feared.
- Yesterday we learned that 20.2 million private sector workers lost their jobs in April alone, the worst drop in the report’s history.
- We expect to learn on Friday that the unemployment rate has crossed 15% or more, a cataclysmic number that doesn’t even fully account for the damage that has been done to workers, small businesses, and the overall economy.
- And we are hearing more and more about job losses that were supposed to be temporary becoming permanent as Trump bungles and exacerbates this economic crisis.
- Instead of helping workers and doing everything possible to protect public health, Trump is laser-focused on “opening the economy” to help Wall Street and massive corporations no matter how many workers and families pay the price.
- This will be devastating for the workers who will be forced to choose between their jobs and their health.
- And it will have a disproportionate impact on Black workers who are more likely to be in service industry jobs and already suffering from the impact of coronavirus at greater rates.
- But here is the reality: while Trump’s reckless rush to “reopen” may be good for Wall Street and big business, it won’t actually be good for the economy.
- The actual economy is made up of people, not the stock market or corporations — and if people are sick or scared to leave their homes, the economy can’t truly recover.
Now, more than ever, it should be clear that policymakers should focus on people and reject Trump’s attempts to juice the stock market and give massive corporations more handouts.
ONE LAST THING . . .
READ AND SHARE >> “These Are the Voters Who Could Decide the Election” >> “The stars are aligned for 2020 to be a breakout year for the political participation of the Latino community, the largest minority group in the electorate at 32 million.”
Navigating Coronavirus is a joint project of Governing for Impact, Groundwork Collaborative, The Hub Project, and Navigator Research.
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