The crusade’s origin was carefully coordinated, rather than springing from the grassroots. The Council for National Policy (CNP), a secretive organization formed in 1981 to promote Christian fundamental ideas, with funding from fossil fuel interests, first discussed the importance of physicians as figureheads of political messaging soon after the pandemic started. A leaked recording from the April 2020 meeting of CNP Action, an affiliate of CNP, shared with Associated Press by the Center for Media & Democracy, showed participants discussing the importance of physician-led groups to combat the prospect of lockdowns, which were seen as damaging to the economy and Trump’s campaign.
Doctors “have a 92 percent trust rate with the American people according to polling,” conservative activist Nancy Schulze said during the call. “There is a coalition of doctors, doctors’ coalition, who are extremely pro-Trump, that have been preparing and coming together for the war ahead in the campaign on health care, and these doctors could be activated for this conversation now for reopening.”