Communicating in Crisis: Coronavirus

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Coronavirus continues to spread across the world and is dominating the news. How can progressives speak to Americans’ concerns about the pandemic?

  • The coronavirus outbreak is an unprecedented situation that the public is hearing more about than other major events in the recent past.  Awareness of the outbreak is higher than other events like impeachment and the government shutdown were at the time they happened. The public overwhelmingly sees the outbreak as a major problem and over half of all Americans are already performing precautionary behaviors, including buying disinfectant products, avoiding public spaces and events, and stocking up on food.


  • Americans disapprove of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak and believe it is fair to criticize his administration’s preparedness and response. The public is most concerned about Trump’s systematic gutting of pandemic response capabilities and the way his approach to health care – higher costs, more limited access – has made Americans more vulnerable if they get sick.