Navigating Coronavirus — September 17
In today’s email, we (sadly) have more on Trump’s never-ending war on scientists. It just doesn’t stop. Now, he’s undercutting and dismissing the CDC director, even as Americans continue to express deep concerns about coronavirus, according to new Navigator polling. Finally, we have a look at Trump’s newfound (and bogus) claims that he is for a big coronavirus relief bill, as well as bonus new Navigator polling on Trump and unrest in the country.
Read on for today’s Navigating Coronavirus…
INSTEAD OF FIGHTING THE VIRUS, TRUMP IS FIGHTING WITH SCIENTISTS AND HEALTH EXPERTS.
After spending Tuesday night lying and spreading disinformation at an ABC town hall, Trump on Wednesday launched new attacks on CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield because he testified to Congress that masks work and a vaccine won’t be ready for the broader public on Trump’s political timeline.
From hydroxychloroquine and plasma to testing, masks and access to PPE, this is only the latest in a long history of Trump dismissing science and attacking experts when their facts don’t fit Trump’s anti-science narrative.
- PLAYING POLITICS WITH VACCINE DEVELOPMENT >> Trump is still insisting that a vaccine will be ready by Election Day. But the CDC director told Congress that vaccine availability to the broader public is much farther off — believe it or not, and despite Wednesday’s bluster, a concession Trump even made himself in private conversations with Bob Woodard.
- TRUMP ON WEDNESDAY: “Trump predicted on Wednesday at least 100 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine could be distributed by the end of 2020, contradicting a top government health official Trump dismissed as confused.”
- CDC DIRECTOR ON WEDNESDAY: “Most Americans probably won’t be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine until mid-2021”
- “On top of that, ‘in order to have enough of us immunized so we have immunity, I think it’s going to take us six to nine months,’ he said.”
- FLASHBACK >> Trump told Bob Woodward in the spring “the problem with a vaccine is a vaccine will take 13 to 14 months once you have it.”
- REMINDER >> Americans are increasingly concerned that we will rush to develop a coronavirus vaccine too quickly. In the last month, there has been a 6-point net increase in the share who say they are more concerned about developing one too quickly versus being too cautious (from +33 to +39), including a net 8-point increase among Republicans.
- THE SCIENCE IS CLEAR: MASKS WORK >> Trump has repeatedly violated CDC guidelines, like mask wearing and social distancing, and now he’s doubling down on being anti-mask while contradicting experts when they put forward evidence.
- TRUMP ON WEDNESDAY: “I think there’s a lot of problems with masks.”
- CDC DIRECTOR ON WEDNESDAY: “I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine.”
TODAY’S FULL POLLING DECK >> HERE
MORE ON CORONAVIRUS FROM YESTERDAY’S DECK >> HERE
- Even as spikes in cases and hospitalizations come down, Americans remain highly concerned about coronavirus. Despite Trump’s sustained effort to change the subject, Americans remain more concerned about the pandemic than they are about crime by 18 points. 62% of Americans say the pandemic remains their top priority and half believe that the worst is still yet to come.
- MORE >> Nearly 1 in 4 of Americans report knowing someone who lost their lives to coronavirus. Black and Hispanic respondents are more likely than white respondents to report knowing someone who has been infected or died — data that reflects the findings of a new CDC study that the majority of children who have died from coronavirus are Black or Hispanic.
- Trump approval remains low across issues as Americans think he is making the crisis worse. 1 in 3 Americans are concerned that Trump continues to downplay the crisis even after 200,000 Americans have died.
ECONOMIC CRISIS IN CONTEXT
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 how Trump’s new claims that he, in fact, supports the very economic support he’s blocked for months.
President Trump on Wednesday claimed to support a “massive economic relief bill” — but he and his GOP allies blocked one for months. The time for rhetoric and spin is over: Trump and his allies need to finally end their obstruction and join House Democrats in actually getting this done.
- Trump’s press secretary laughably claimed that his “number one” priority is unemployed Americans, while pointing to his executive action that cut the incomes of unemployed workers by $1,200 a month.
- The House passed a bill months ago that would have prevented incomes getting cut for unemployed workers, but Trump and his allies blocked it and pushed workers and the economy into a completely unnecessary crisis.
- If Trump truly wants to prioritize the workers who have lost their jobs due to his bungling of this public health crisis, he will come back to the table and support the extension of full emergency unemployment benefits.
- Reminder: “Who Is Best at Getting COVID-19 Unemployment Benefits? Wealthy White People, Of Course.”
- Not only is Trump’s refusal to support workers a crisis for those families, we are also seeing the impact continue to reverberate across the economy as families have less money to spend, demand decreases, and the ensuing vicious cycle makes this crisis longer-lasting and more painful than it needed to be.
- READ: “Economic Crisis? Not For Everyone.The upper middle class is doing fine in this recession, and the billionaires are just getting richer.”
- THERE’S A THEME HERE… Not only do Americans think Trump has made the pandemic worse, a majority say his response to the protests and disorder in the country has made the situation worse — and in fact, Democrats are more trusted than Trump to help reduce violent crime.
Navigating Coronavirus is a joint project of Governing for Impact, Groundwork Collaborative, The Hub Project, and Navigator Research.
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