Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: Because the pandemic accelerates, the combat over faculty steerage intensifies


NEW Navigator Research (D) poll finds Trump hits yearly lows on overall job approval, coronavirus handling and economic stewardship.

Overall job approval: 39/59
Coronavirus approval: 36/61
Economy: 45/53

— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) July 15, 2020


• Trump’s approval matches its lowest point in Navigator history, going back to April 2018.

• A majority of Americans, and parents, oppose reopening schools in the fall because of the risks, and nearly two in three parents say schools should be among the last things to reopen.

• The public – including parents – trusts state and local government over Trump to handle reopening schools and would prefer he stay out of the issue

Historical low for this poll


Fauci: Health of children and teachers should be paramount. If “you’re in outbreak mode,” leave the decision to open schools up to local officials. “Let’s try to get them open to the extent that we can.”

— Liz Szabo (@LizSzabo) July 14, 2020

Former CDC Directors/WaPo:

We ran the CDC. No president ever politicized its science the way Trump has.

Sadly, we are not even close to having the virus under control. Quite the opposite, in fact.

That’s what makes it hard to plan for schools. Any parent with a young child knows that classrooms, cafeterias and school buses are petri dishes for the common cold and the flu, even in normal times. And although children are at lower risk for serious illness and death from covid-19, the same is not true for the adults who work in schools, nor for the families children and school staffers go home to each evening. We must pay careful attention to safer school policies, including those the CDC released, to do everything we can to reopen our schools — and our economy — as safely as possible. This cannot happen equitably without additional federal and state resources to ensure that every school district — no matter the Zip code — can take the necessary measures to protect children, teachers and staffers. Black, Latino and Native American communities have suffered disproportionately during the first six months of the pandemic. We cannot let this same tragedy unfold this fall in our schools. The CDC’s guidance is a call for all of our nation to work together so as many schools as possible can reopen as safely as possible. This will mean wearing masks correctly, increasing distance — including by closing bars and restaurants in many places — and tracking and stopping the spread of the virus by supporting patients and protecting contacts.


HHS officials on Monday finalized a new data reporting protocol for hospitals, which will eliminate the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a data recipient

— Greg Dworkin (@DemFromCT) July 14, 2020

NY Times:

Headed to the Convention? Not I, More Republicans Are Saying

“Everybody just assumes no one is going,” said one House member wary of the virus risks. But other delegates dismissed the health threat and said it was an honor to help nominate President Trump.

Still, even as growing numbers of elected leaders express wariness about attending, a strong contingent of Republican National Committee members — many of whom have their political fortunes tied to Mr. Trump — say they still plan to go. In interviews, more than a dozen of them said they were committed, even “proud,” to celebrate the renomination of Mr. Trump.

A Times survey of almost 70 Republican officials and Senate and House members showed a divide over the convention between the members of Congress taking a more cautious approach, and rank-and file-officials, like locally elected delegates and R.N.C. members, who were more inclined to go.

Death cult.

John M. Barry/NY Times and someone with enormous credibility:

The Pandemic Could Get Much, Much Worse. We Must Act Now.

A comprehensive shutdown may be required in much of the country.

As if explosive growth in too many states isn’t bad enough, we are also suffering the same shortages that haunted hospitals in March and April. In New Orleans, testing supplies are so limited that one site started testing at 8 a.m. but had only enough to handle the people lined up by 7:33 a.m.


The business cycle isn’t some measure of brave people’s plucky resilience in the face of an outbreak. In many cases, it’s a nearly real-time measure of COVID growth. The business cycle is the pandemic cycle.

— Derek Thompson (@DKThomp) July 14, 2020

Jonathan Bernstein/Bloomberg:

Why Would Trump Oppose Stimulus?

With the economy in real danger, the White House is showing an odd ambivalence about added relief measures.

He seems to think that taking dramatic action to solve a problem is bad politics compared to pretending the problem doesn’t exist.

(That may be one of the reasons Trump has been so reluctant to wear a mask. It also seems to account for for his antipathy toward Dr. Anthony Fauci, the infectious-disease expert who is currently being targeted by a bizarre White House smear campaign.)

Of course, outside of Trump’s strongest supporters, this isn’t going to work — with evictions coming, small businesses throwing in the towel and what started as a surprisingly strong recovery now in danger of failing altogether, Trump should be desperate for ways to prop up the economy and stop the pandemic rather than counting on his ability to bluff his way through.

Perhaps he’ll come around as negotiations continue. Although the delay has been damaging, a serious stimulus package now would still help. But if talks break down, with the virus on the rise in most states, there’s a chance for some really scary outcomes for the economy over the next few months. Is Trump really going to take that risk in an election year? All the incentives say he won’t — but if Trump followed normal incentives, the White House wouldn’t be attacking Anthony Fauci right now.


On our worst day of new cases, we had just over 1,000. It has typically been between 700-900 during this most aggressive time.

To get to 40% infections, we’d need 3,187 new cases every day for a full year from today.

We would need to TRIPLE our worst day—every day—for a year.

— Tate Reeves (@tatereeves) July 13, 2020


What’s next for Anthony Fauci, if the White House continues to sour on him?

Fauci’s future role in the U.S. government’s pandemic response will follow one of three paths. Though Trump can’t easily fire him, administration officials could remove him from his post leading the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and reassign him elsewhere in government. Trump could also attempt to formally bar Fauci from conducting public briefings or interviews, effectively silencing one of the administration’s most recognizable public health experts.

Or Trump could continue to quietly diminish Fauci’s role and subtly limit his public platform — as he has for months.


Stephen Moore takes a break from pretending to be an economist so that he can pretend to be an infectious disease expert.
In any case this is from his usual playbook. But usually he lies & smears experts to get tax cuts; now he lies & smears experts so more Americans can die.

— Catherine Rampell (@crampell) July 14, 2020

Daily Mail:

Immunity to Covid-19 may be lost in just a few months and it could be caught again like a common cold, new research suggests

King’s College London scientists studied immunity in more than 90 patients

Antibody levels lasted longest in patients who had the most severe cases

The findings mean a vaccine may have to be reformulated every year

Micah Zenko/Foreign Policy:

The Foreign-Policy Blob Is Structurally Racist

A social revolution could transform domestic policy—but it won’t change the way policy is conducted abroad.

This relatively homogenous composition of the foreign-policy elite—including yours truly—matters because the recognition of racial oppression at home and abroad is a glaring blind spot. In 20-plus years of working at academic institutions and think tanks, I can recall very few mentions of race. And even these observations were made not out of inherent concern for racial underrepresentation or discrimination within the United States but because the lack of progress toward combating those twin evils could lessen America’s relative power on the international stage.


there is, alas, a Republican coronavirus approach (it should be a public health approach). And it’s a failure politically and (AZ, FL, TX) practically. Keep that in mind as they point fingers at everyone else but themselves.

— Greg Dworkin (@DemFromCT) July 15, 2020

Here is the Gallup link. 

Charlie Sykes/Bulwark:

Elder Abuse at the White House

Tuesday’s Rose Garden press conference was . . . something else.

What did we just see? And who thought this would be a good idea?

Donald Trump is sinking in the polls, failing spectacularly at the worst crisis of his presidency, dogged by recurring scandal, betrayed by his closest aides and family members.

And amazingly, in the midst of this, someone suggested he give this press conference.

When you lose your mojo, nothing works. As a friend said to me, this is not an election,  it’s a countdown.


Trump soiled the WH Rose Garden with that performance. Presidents do not use the Rose Garden in that kind of naked political fashion. That was not a press conference, as the WH described it. It was a campaign rally disguised as a press conference. It was a bait and switch.

— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) July 14, 2020


CNN on Trump’s presser:

“All Trump could offer was self-pity, incoherence and indifference…a leader living in a different dimension from his people and their fear and uncertainty about what coming months will bring.”

His lack of humanity is the story:

— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) July 15, 2020

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