Navigating Coronavirus — October 12

We are staring something truly absurd in the face: an entire Republican Party leadership hellbent on personally spreading the virus, as infections decimate their ranks while they fail to combat the rising number of cases among the American people. This is ridiculous. Trump is hitting the campaign trail, even though he’s sick. Senate Republicans are starting in-person SCOTUS hearing to steal a Supreme Court seat, despite committee members being infected and others, including Lindsey Graham, refusing to get tested. All as the nation’s outbreak gets worse. We go through it all in today’s email.

Read on for today’s Navigating Coronavirus…

It’s been 224 days since President Trump said we’d soon have zero cases in the U.S. We now have 7.9 million cases and 219,000 deaths in the U.S., and Trump and 38 other contacts have been diagnosed after a super spreader event at the White House.

THE LATEST

TRUMP IS DOUBLING DOWN ON IRRESPONSIBLE BEHAVIOR THAT SPREADS THE VIRUS TO OTHERS.

President Trump has not only failed to get the pandemic under control but he’s now demonstrating dangerously irresponsible behavior that is spreading the virus and getting more people sick. Despite being sick himself — and the fact that he’s already been personally responsible for several superspreader events — Trump is taking his disease show on the road, putting his own supporters at risk.

  • RECKLESS BEHAVIOR >> The White House has been reckless — holding events that violate CDC guidelines and putting guests and Americans at risk. Dr. Fauci confirmed that their irresponsible behavior spurred outbreaks, and Mitch McConnell even admitted that he has been avoiding the White House because of their lax protocols.
  • DR. FAUCI: “Well, I think the data speak for themselves. We had a superspreader event in the White House, and it was in a situation where people were crowded together and were not wearing masks.”
  • MORE FAUCI >> Trump is not only overruling experts with his irresponsible behavior, he is openly manipulating them to serve his ends, even as they disagree with him. Fauci is now expressing frustration that Trump has chosen to use him in a campaign ad, saying he was “taken out of context.”
  • MITCH MCCONNELL: “McConnell said he hasn’t visited the White House in over 2 months because he doesn’t think Trump’s COVID-19 protocols are safe”
  • NO LESSONS LEARNED >> Despite clear evidence that the White House is a hotspot, they’re still holding superspreader events, even while the President himself is sick with COVID-19.
  • CNN: “Hours after Trump’s dark and divisive White House speech, his doctor still won’t say if he’s tested negative”

Days after we learned that Trump’s Minnesota rally in the days before he publicly announced he had covid infected at least 9 people, Trump is planning to hit the road again this week — carrying his virus all across the country, putting even more people at risk.

  • MORE SUPERSPREADER RALLIES >> The Trump campaign is ignoring expert advice, violating CDC guidelines, and downplaying the virus — despite the evidence that Trump rallies are spreading the virus, Trump won’t knock it off.
  • Politico: “The Trump campaign is hitting the road after being sidelined by the coronavirus for a week, while taking few precautions to ensure the rallies don’t become new hot spots.”
  • Business Insider: “Donald Trump Jr. held a packed indoor rally in Florida one week after his father’s COVID-19 diagnosis”
  • Wall Street Journal: “Mr. Trump said in a tweet Friday that he would “be in Sanford, Florida on Monday for a very BIG RALLY!” Officials have been also considering travel in Michigan and Pennsylvania.”

GOP SENATORS ARE PUTTING LAWMAKERS AND AMERICANS AT RISK FOR PARTISAN GAIN.

Trump isn’t the only Republican putting people at risk by holding events that spit in the face of the CDC’s health guidelines. Senate Republicans are kicking off the confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett this morning — and they’re in person, despite the fact that multiple members of the Judiciary Committee are infected with coronavirus and others, including chairman Lindsey Graham, have refused to get tested even after being exposed to people with the virus.

For them, nothing will stand in the way of a rushed, partisan power grab to jam through a Supreme Court justice for life before voters get heard on Election Day.

  • Axios: “Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) refused to take a COVID-19 test as demanded by his Democratic challenger, Jaime Harrison, forcing organizers of Friday’s U.S. Senate debate to change the format at the last minute. Why it matters: If Graham were to test positive for the virus it could delay confirmation hearings on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.”
  • Des Moines Register: “Sen. Chuck Grassley won’t seek coronavirus test after attending meeting with infected senator”

CASES ARE RISING AND HOSPITALIZATIONS ARE SPIKING AGAIN — AND IT DIDN’T HAVE TO BE THIS BAD.

It was true this summer as the country went through a coronavirus surge, and it’s true now as we see cases, hospitalizations, and deaths rise again: it didn’t have to be this bad. Trump’s failed response, refusal to listen to experts, and politicization of a public health crisis have killed nearly 220,000 Americans, and health officials warn that it is going to get worse.

  • CNN: “CDC ensemble forecast foresees death toll from Covid-19 climbing to 233,000 by end of month”
  • Forbes: U.S. Covid Hospitalizations Hit Highest Level Since July”

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.