Navigating Coronavirus — October 7

In today’s email, we have new Navigator polling on public opinion of Trump’s diagnosis, his handling of the pandemic, and where we go from here. We also take a look at what Trump is causing economically by walking away from any further coronavirus relief.

Read on for today’s Navigating Coronavirus…

It’s been 223 days since President Trump said we’d soon have zero cases in the U.S. We now have 7.7 million cases and 215,000 deaths in the U.S., and Trump and 33 other contacts have been diagnosed after a super spreader event at the White House.


Message guidance on Trump’s diagnosis and his handling of the pandemic, rooted in brand new Navigator polling.


  • A majority (58%) of Americans — including one in five Republicans — believe that Trump got coronavirus due to his own irresponsible behavior.
  • MOST ALARMING >> Americans are most troubled that he attended campaign events after he knew he was exposed to the virus, putting other people in danger too.
  • Among those concerned by Trump’s recent behavior, nearly 70% describe his actions as “irresponsible.” Dangerous, reckless, and selfish are other top descriptors.
  • By 15 points (56% to 41%), Americans do not trust Trump to tell the truth about his medical condition — and the gap is even larger among Independents (42 points). 68% of Independents don’t trust Trump, while just 26% do.
  • Nearly 6 in 10 people believe that Trump is responsible for the rise in cases — including 56% of Independents, and 42% overall who believe he holds “a lot” of the blame.
  • TOP CONCERNS >> The top three most concerning things about Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis is that he failed to stop the spread, isn’t setting a good example, and has acted irresponsibly and ignored safety precautions, putting others at risk.
  • The message that concerned Americans the most? “Trump’s positive test shows how out of control the virus is and how much Trump has failed to stop its spread. The pandemic has now claimed 200,000 lives, while 7 million more have tested positive, including the President himself, because from the beginning, Trump has ignored experts, downplayed the crisis, and lied about the threat.”
  • DON’T MISS IT: Trump tweeted Tuesday night to confirm what we’ve all long suspected: he is fine with an unsafe, untested vaccine as long as it comes before Election Day.
  • The number of Americans who rate the pandemic as their top concern has increased 6 points in the last week — underscoring that this crisis is getting worse, not better, no matter what the president tries to claim.
  • Trump is broadly seen as anti-mask, which shouldn’t be surprising given he removed his mask when returning to the White House even though he is sick with the virus. The number of Americans who say Trump is “anti-mask” is up 6 points in the last week (from 64% to 70%), while three-in-four Americans continue to say they are in favor of masks.


The latest on how the economic crisis sparked by coronavirus is being fueled by President Trump’s actions and years of conservative economic policies, focusing today on Trump walking away from the table and ending hopes of additional COVID-19 relief.

  • By blowing up negotiations and refusing to work with House Democrats to pass additional COVID crisis relief, President Trump is now fully and solely responsible for the public health and economic pain that will now continue for far longer than needed.
  • Trump is making his priorities crystal-clear: He would rather focus on rushing to confirm a Supreme Court nominee who would take away people’s health care than on working with Democrats to help families impacted by a pandemic.

Because Trump ended the negotiations:

  • More than 30 million unemployed workers now face permanent income cuts in a pandemic.
  • Millions of families hoping for additional relief will now be unable to afford their rent and mortgages, and overall demand will continue to drop, which will hurt the economy and make this crisis last longer.
  • Small business owners across the country will now be forced to permanently lay off workers they were hoping to bring back on.
  • Teachers, firefighters, and other essential state and local workers could lose their jobs as state government budgets hit a cliff with no additional federal support.
  • READ >> Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell “Warns of Prolonged Economic Pain Without Help as Trump Calls Off Stimulus Talks”
  • Trump’s September jobs picture: rapidly decelerating recovery, permanent job losses continue to pile up, and racial disparities continue to widen.
  • Job growth has slowed significantly over the last few months, which highlights the fact that the CARES Act supported an initial recovery, and now that it has ended, the economy is starting to sputter.
  • Trump’s actions and economic policies have resulted in 10.7 million fewer jobs in September than we had in February — that’s an economy in crisis, not one to gloat about or pronounce mission accomplished.


  • Entering tonight’s VP debate, Senator Kamala Harris is significantly more popular than Vice President Mike Pence. Her net favorability (+10) is 16 points better than his (-6).

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.