Navigating Coronavirus — May 9

Navigating Coronavirus
6 min readMay 9, 2020

It’s been 72 days since President Trump said we’d soon have zero cases in the U.S. We now have 1,321,000 cases and 78,600 deaths — more deaths than any other country in the world.

TOP TREND

  • Trump is risking a lot as he gives up on dealing with coronavirus and pushes to prematurely re-open — because the number of Americans saying the worst is yet to come is actually ticking up. That number had dipped from 75% on April 8 to 41% on May 5 — but throughout this week, it’s gone up 12 points, back to 53%, suggesting Americans are entering a “second wave” of concern about what lies ahead.

THE LATEST

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

1. TRUMP IS MAKING THIS CRISIS WORSE, AND NOW AT LEAST 21 MILLION AMERICANS HAVE LOST THEIR JOBS.

Trump ignored the intelligence community, he gave away our PPE, he failed to take early action to get us the tests needed to detect this virus, he claimed it would magically disappear, he funneled money to big business instead of those in need, and now 75,000 Americans are dead and our country’s unemployment rate just hit nearly 15%.

It didn’t have to be like this. Trump’s complete failure to prepare for this crisis and manage the fallout has caused this calamity. No matter what he claims, this is not “a success story.”

NEW NAVIGATOR DATA >> A majority of Americans (59%), including 66% of Independents, believe that at the beginning of this crisis, Trump didn’t take it seriously enough, failing to take action to protect the economy and lives.

MORE >> 59% also believe Trump downplayed the threat of the coronavirus early on, letting it get worse when we should have been preparing.

2. TRUMP MAY BE SPREADING THE VIRUS HIMSELF, PUTTING PEOPLE IN DANGER.

Trump and Pence have now each come in close contact with someone with coronavirus yet not only are they refusing to self-quarantine, they aren’t even taking basic preventive measures.

  • FORBES: “Asked why President Trump didn’t wear a mask while honoring World War II veterans in their 90s — just a day after one of his personal valets tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus — press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said, ‘They made the choice to come here.’”
  • GQ: Pence did not wear a mask while visiting a nursing home

And the White House is blocking the CDC from publishing life-saving public health information.

3. SATURDAY SPOTLIGHT: AMERICANS DO NOT TRUST TRUMP IN THIS CRISIS.

While leaders across the world have experienced “rally” bumps in approval, Trump has fallen flat because he has made this crisis worse.

  • The Economist:Covid-19 has given most world leaders a temporary rise in popularity” >> “The four leaders who have fared least well stand accused of ineptitude. Japan’s response to the outbreak compares well with most countries’, but not with its Asian neighbours. The presidents of America, Mexico and Brazil have all suggested that fears about covid-19 are overblown.”
  • NEW NAVIGATOR DATA >> Only 45% of Americans approve of Trump’s overall job as president, with 53% disapproving, and since the end of March, Trump has seen a 16-point drop in his net approval on coronavirus specifically.
  • FROM THURSDAY’S NAVIGATOR DEEP DIVE >> 11% of Americans approve of his handling of coronavirus because “it is important to be supportive of President Trump during this time of national crisis” — the “rally-around-the-leader” bump — vs. 32% who believe Trump has “shown strong leadership.”
  • AND >> Only 29% trust Trump, who has continually dragged his feet and downplayed the virus, to handle this crisis more than their state and local leaders.

NEW NAVIGATOR TRACKING NUMBERS . . .

TODAY’S POLLING DECK >> HERE

FULL TOPLINES >> HERE

  • Key messages are likely to be effective in holding the Trump administration accountable for mismanagement of economic relief funds. The most effective critique centers on how big companies like Ruth’s Chris and the L.A. Lakers got small business loans from the Trump administration; it concerns nearly two-thirds of Independents (64%) and a majority of Republicans (51%).
  • It’s also effective to contrast the struggles small businesses have faced getting emergency loans with the desire Trump and McConnell have to bail out oil companies; 66% of Independents and 40% of Republicans are concerned by this.
  • Mask wearing among Republicans reveals a lot. Republicans who wear masks are 32 points more likely to call the virus a major crisis than those who don’t — and 25 points more likely to be worried about someone they know getting coronavirus than those who don’t.
  • They also oppose re-opening the country soon by 32 points more than Republicans who don’t wear masks.
  • Americans really do not find Trump’s response to the crisis to be “compassionate.” His numbers on this are sinking even more severely among those most likely to be impacted by coronavirus.

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 impact on jobs and the economy.

It’s official: Trump has pushed us into the greatest economic crisis for workers and families since the Great Depression.

  • The official unemployment rate has surged to a shocking 14.7% as 20.5 million workers lost their jobs in April alone after Trump and his conservative allies refused to offer families and small business owners the support they needed.
  • Just like the last recession, workers of color are being hit even harder by Trump’s economic turmoil, as the unemployment rate rose to 16.7% among Black workers and 18.9% among Latinx workers.
  • Yesterday’s unemployment number doesn’t even reflect the full devastating reality of Trump’s economic collapse. Economists estimate that the true unemployment rate is as high as 34%.
  • Despite this devastation, the stock market rose once again, as Wall Street continued to cash in following the best month for stocks since 1987.
  • Never has it been any clearer: No matter what Trump says, the stock market is NOT the economy.

As the economy crashes and burns around him, Trump is declaring victory and refusing to consider additional support for workers and families.

ONE MORE THING . . .

USEFUL TOOL >> This tool offers epidemiology models on coronavirus broken down by state — with different scenarios based on how that state handles re-opening. Use it to see how leaders’ decisions to re-open and relax social distancing will impact infections, spread, and deaths.

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.