Navigating Coronavirus — September 18

THE LATEST…

PRESIDENT TRUMP IS OVERRULING SCIENTISTS AND EXPERTS TO MAKE POLITICIZED DECISIONS THAT HARM THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

At every step of the pandemic, President Trump has ignored science and overruled experts — and it’s made this crisis worse than it ever needed to be. Trump’s actions on everything from testing to masks reveal that he is hellbent on making decisions based only on his own political interests, not the best interest of Americans’ health.

  • UNPRECEDENTED >> TRUMP’S TEAM PUBLISHED CORONAVIRUS TESTING GUIDANCE THAT THE CDC OPPOSED.
  • NYT: “A heavily criticized recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month about who should be tested for the coronavirus was not written by C.D.C. scientists and was posted to the agency’s website despite their serious objections”
  • “That was a doc that came from the top down, from the H.H.S. and the task force,” said a federal official with knowledge of the matter, referring to the White House task force on the coronavirus. “That policy does not reflect what many people at the C.D.C. feel should be the policy.”
  • AND THEY’RE STILL DOING IT >> “A new version of the testing guidance, expected to be posted Friday, has also not been cleared by the C.D.C.’s usual internal review for scientific documents and is being revised by officials at Health and Human Services”
  • EARLY ON, HE BLOCKED FREE MASKS FROM BEING SENT TO AMERICANS >> In April, the White House prevented a plan by the Postal Service and HHS to send 5 masks to every U.S. household, canceling a measure that would have slowed coronavirus spread early in the outbreak.
  • Washington Post: “At one point in April, USPS leaders drafted a news release announcing plans to distribute 650 million masks nationwide, enough to offer five face coverings to every American household… The idea originated out of the Department of Health and Human Services, which suggested a pack of five reusable masks be sent to every residential address in the country, with the first shipments going to the hardest-hit areas…Before the news release was sent, however, the White House nixed the plan.”
  • THE WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF SOWING DISTRUST IN MASKS >> “If masks is the panacea for everything, that we could have everybody going back to work if they’ll just wear a mask … if that’s the way that we open back our economy and get everybody back to work, I will gladly wear my mask each and every day if that’s what makes the difference. And it doesn’t … I think even a Redfield, a Fauci and anybody else would suggest that it is a mitigating effort, but it’s not something that is actually designed to actually make sure we don’t have the coronavirus spread.”
  • ACTUALLY… Just this week, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield testified to Congress that masks might be more effective at preventing COVID-19 than a vaccine right now.

DON’T TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT… TRUMP’S OWN TEAM IS SPEAKING OUT AGAINST HIS CORONAVIRUS LEADERSHIP.

It’s become clear that Trump doesn’t care about science or doing what is necessary to save lives — he’s more worried about saving face and boosting his shot at reelection. A former official on the coronavirus task force said that Trump could have saved lives, but he was too concerned about reelection.

  • ALARMING TESTIMONY >> President Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic showed a “flat out disregard for human life” because his “main concern was the economy and his reelection,” according to a senior adviser on the White House coronavirus task force who left the White House in August. (Washington Post)
  • OLIVIA TROYE, PENCE’S TOP CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE AIDE: “‘Towards the middle of February, we knew it wasn’t a matter of if COVID would become a big pandemic here, it was a matter of when,” said Troye, who left the White House in late July. “But the President didn’t want to hear that, because his biggest concern was that we were in an election year, and how was this going to affect what he considered to be his record of success?’” (CNN)
  • WHAT?! >> “At one coronavirus task force meeting, Troye claimed that Trump suggested ‘maybe this COVID thing is a good thing. I don’t like shaking hands with people. I don’t have to shake hands with these disgusting people,’ Troye claimed Trump said at the meeting.” (CNN)

**NEW** NAVIGATOR POLLING ON SCHOOL REOPENING…

TODAY’S FULL POLLING DECK >> HERE

  • Even though schools have resumed, the vast majority of the public — and parents — believe they’ll close because of outbreaks. Republicans are less likely to acknowledge outbreaks in schools, as more than 8 in 10 parents say they expect school closures due to them.

**NEW** NAVIGATOR POLLING ON PANDEMIC VOTING…

  • Over the past six weeks, intent to vote by mail has declined — but Democrats are twice as likely as Republicans to say they will vote by mail. Among those who don’t plan to vote by mail, most say they’ll vote in person simply because they prefer it, not because they fear their vote won’t be counted if cast by mail.
  • Concern about voter fraud and voter suppression is split among partisan lines. By 46 points, Democrats are more concerned about voter suppression than voter fraud, while Republicans are more concerned about voter fraud by 50 points.

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 the latest unemployment claims in Trump’s economy.

Another 1.4 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits, as Trump’s economy continues to struggle and teeter on the brink of collapse.

  • Mind-blowing stat: This makes 26 consecutive weeks with every week’s number of new unemployment claims higher than any of the prior 2,776 weeks, going back to 1967.
  • Trump’s cut to the incomes of 30 million workers and refusal to extend emergency benefits continues to hurt families and the economy, and more and more stories are coming out about how the reduced demand is devastating for local small business owners.
  • WATCH/RETWEET: “The $600 weekly unemployment insurance boost was saving people’s lives & keeping the economy afloat. This nightmare has been prolonged long enough. No more delays — we must #extendUI.”
  • It couldn’t be any clearer: Trump and his allies need to come back to the table and work with House Democrats to finally pass the federal support families and the economy need.

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Navigating Coronavirus

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.