WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY
> US negotiates 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccine from Pfizer that will be free to Americans
> US reports 1,000+ daily COVID-19 deaths for first time in July
> In first coronavirus briefing in nearly three months, Trump says pandemic will ‘get worse before it gets better,’ urges Americans to wear face masks when necessary
> Pelosi calls coronavirus the ‘Trump virus’
> New CDC study finds most people in US still highly susceptible to virus; US infections could be up to 13 times higher than reported
> WHO says virus is ‘beginning to accelerate in Africa’; ‘worrying trends’ in southern Europe and the Balkans
> United Airlines requires customers to wear masks in airports
> With pro sports set to return, athletes are divided on wearing masks
> 3M CEO Mike Roman says in first half of 2020 3M has delivered 800 million respirators globally and 400 million in U.S., on track to deliver by year’s end 2 billion globally and 1 billion in US
THE INTERVIEW Michael Roman, Chairman and CEO, 3M
3M CEO Mike Roman says in first half of 2020 3M has delivered 800 million respirators globally and 400 million in U.S., on track to deliver by year’s end 2 billion globally and 1 billion in U.S., notes that SARS led to 3M investing in fast ramp-up personal protective equipment (PPE) productive capacity, states 3M helped to take down 7,000 fraudulent websites offering PPE products and is working with MIT to develop low-cost, mass-produced, instant results COVID-19 diagnostic test.
Watch the full interview here.
THE HILL’S CORONAVIRUS REPORT Welcome to The Hill’s Coronavirus Report. It’s Wednesday, July 22.
There will be no Coronavirus Report tomorrow, as I will be moderating our virtual program: “Diabetes and the COVID Threat” I hope you’ll join me (you can register here) and we’ll pick things back up on Friday.
I often think about what is being asked of all of us in these times, and whether we are performing well or poorly. The answer is clearly mixed and needs little elaboration as we see new COVID-19 infections skyrocketing through a broad cross section of U.S. states today. The president’s return to the podium on Tuesday without scientists and public health experts at his side to buttress his messages during a national coronavirus task force briefing did nothing to bolster confidence that the country might move in a better direction. What if this is as good as it is going to get in Washington? There will be more dollars. There will be some successes and some flops on the vaccine front. Operation Warp Speed is thus far getting salutes from both Democrats and Republicans. Some states have a lot of personal protective equipment and COVID-19 tests. Some states don’t have enough, and the second wave that is coming has not really begun. The situation is uneven, fragile, wobbly and unpredictable. And that may be the way the D.C. leadership scene remains.
So what is being asked of us in these conditions? And what should and can we do? I think that answer differs for many. Some, like serial entrepreneur and investor Ryan Sarver and comedian Joel McHale, are helping restaurants to survive this pandemic by raising money to send meals to front-line health workers. Here is my interview with them. There are a myriad of responses to my question as we see leadership and heroism, thoughtful acts of kindness and giving, throughout our society today. That’s such a good news story despite the dreadful contradictions and wrong turns in the nation’s capital.
But I also like what some firms are doing. Today, The Hill’s Coronavirus Report is anchored by an interview with 3M CEO Michael Roman, who outlines how the manufacturing muscle of his firm both in America and at production sites globally is ramping up massive new capacity in respirators. It still won’t be enough with the expected surge in demand, but that’s a firm stepping up. His mention of collaborations with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and how materials are being connected to the areas most in need was instructive and impressive.
But 3M has also recently partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in a fascinating, and hopefully successful, effort to develop a “highly accurate, mass-produced low-cost diagnostic device that delivers results in minutes.” Of course, this is a test of COVID-19 infections. That is the missing piece in this puzzle of America going back to work, back to school and back to travel and play. Instant, ever-present, low-cost, immediate results tests. The Rockefeller Foundation also wants this kind of testing and tracing environment to be embedded in America and has called for $75 billion to be set aside to make it happen. See the Rockefeller Foundation’s COVID-19 National Testing and Tracing Action Plan. But where the Rockefeller Foundation study calls for a testing regime with a 48-hour turnaround in tests, just think what benefits there would be to the world if MIT’s research team — led by chemical engineering Professor Hadley Sikes — developed a cheap test that would give results instantly.
This is another kind of doing above and beyond in a time of need and stress. Even if the 3M/MIT effort fails, it’s the right effort to make. And it’s the kind of experiment and innovation that could inspire others to make contributions in this direction. This kind of leadership in the private sector and in our leading research institutions is what is needed today — because we aren’t seeing much vision from Washington.
— Steve Clemons
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THE HILL ‘VIRTUALLY’ LIVE Tomorrow! | Diabetes and the COVID Threat
The coronavirus pandemic is presenting new challenges for the 34 million Americans living with diabetes. On Thursday, July 23, The Hill Virtually Live hosts “Diabetes and the COVID Threat” to discuss effective diabetes care during the time of COVID-19. Reps. Diana DeGetteDiana Louise DeGetteOvernight Health Care: Pfizer lands nearly b from Trump administration for COVID vaccine | FEMA head: ‘We have a ways to go’ on having enough PPE | Fauci on coronavirus: ‘I don’t really see us eradicating it’ The Hill’s Coronavirus Report: Mike Roman says 3M on track to deliver 2 billion respirators globally and 1 billion in US by end of year; US, Pfizer agree to 100M doses of COVID-19 vaccine that will be free to Americans The Hill’s 12:30 Report – Presented by Facebook – Yoho apologizes for accosting AOC MORE (D-Colo.) and Tom ReedThomas (Tom) W. ReedOvernight Health Care: Pfizer lands nearly b from Trump administration for COVID vaccine | FEMA head: ‘We have a ways to go’ on having enough PPE | Fauci on coronavirus: ‘I don’t really see us eradicating it’ The Hill’s Coronavirus Report: Mike Roman says 3M on track to deliver 2 billion respirators globally and 1 billion in US by end of year; US, Pfizer agree to 100M doses of COVID-19 vaccine that will be free to Americans The Hill’s 12:30 Report – Presented by Facebook – Yoho apologizes for accosting AOC MORE (R-N.Y.), co-chairpersons of the Congressional Caucus on Diabetes, and a panel of health experts join The Hill’s Steve Clemons.
REGISTER HERE! Have a question for our speakers? Tweet us @TheHillEvents using #TheHillDiabetes for a chance to have your question featured live in the program.
CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
There are 15,008,046 reported cases of COVID-19 across the globe and 617,902 have died from the virus as of the time of this newsletter.
The U.S. is reporting 3,919,550 cases and 142,350 deaths. Brazil is reporting 2,159,654 cases. India 1,193,078. Russia 787,846. South Africa 381,798. Peru 362,087. Mexico 356,255. Chile 334,683. U.K. 297,952. Iran 281,413. Pakistan 267,428.
Elsewhere throughout the world:
> Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has tested positive for COVID-19 for a second time.
> The U.S. ordered China to close its diplomatic consulate in Houston within 72 hours, dealing another blow to the rapidly deteriorating relations between the two countries.
> Hong Kong will require travelers from the U.S. and Kazakhstan to show proof that they have tested negative for the virus within 72 hours of boarding a flight to the city.
> The average number of new daily cases in Spain has more than tripled in the month since the country ended its state of emergency.
> After four months of lockdown, Nepal is lifting most restrictions and will soon open schools, restaurants, international flights and mountain trekking.
California has surpassed New York to become the hardest-hit state with a reported 409,382 cases. New York is reporting 408,886. Florida 379,619. Texas 353,091. New Jersey 177,256. Illinois 164,864. Georgia 148,988. Arizona 148,683. Massachusetts 114,033. Pennsylvania 108,055. North Carolina 105,272. Louisiana 96,583. Michigan 83,059. Tennessee 81,944. Maryland 80,172.
Here at home:
> The U.S. recorded more than 1,000 daily coronavirus deaths Tuesday for the first time since June.
> A Texas county hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak is ordering residents who have been exposed to or tested positive for COVID-19 to self-quarantine for 14 days. Failure to do so could result in criminal prosecution.
> Only a small proportion of Americans — including those in hard-hit areas — possess the necessary antibodies for immunity to the novel coronavirus, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
> The Citi Open in Washington, D.C., which was scheduled to restart the men’s tennis tour next month, has been canceled for 2020.
> The Indianapolis 500, now rescheduled to Aug. 23, will be held in front of about 75 percent fewer spectators who will all be required to wear masks.
The U.S. is reporting the results of 47,224,382 COVID-19 tests and 1,182,018 full recoveries from the virus.
Trump says coronavirus will “get worse before it gets better.” President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he would be comfortable sending son, grandchildren to school in person Cafeteria worker on White House grounds tests positive for COVID-19: reports Republicans to start unveiling coronavirus package Thursday MORE said Tuesday that the novel coronavirus outbreak in the United States would “get worse before it gets better” amid surges in cases in parts of the country. “It will probably, unfortunately, get worse before it gets better,” Trump, reading from prepared remarks, told reporters at a White House briefing Tuesday evening. “Something I don’t like saying about things, but that’s the way it is.” He went on to implore Americans to wear masks, practice physical distancing and wash their hands, and he urged young Americans to avoid bars. (The Hill)
Fauci says he wasn’t invited to White House briefing. Anthony FauciAnthony FauciGOP questions whether Trump will stick to new coronavirus approach Almost 3,500 public health experts sign letter in support of Fauci Overnight Health Care: Pfizer lands nearly b from Trump administration for COVID vaccine | FEMA head: ‘We have a ways to go’ on having enough PPE | Fauci on coronavirus: ‘I don’t really see us eradicating it’ MORE, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN Tuesday afternoon that he had not been invited to President Trump’s 5 p.m. White House briefing. “I was not invited up to this point,” Fauci said prior to the briefing. (ABC News)
Republicans battle over COVID-19 package’s big price tag. Republican lawmakers led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRepublicans to start unveiling coronavirus package Thursday GOP may face choice on tax cut or stimulus checks Hillicon Valley: Twitter bans thousands of QAnon accounts | Bipartisan support grows for election funds in Senate stimulus bill | Senate committee advances bill to ban TikTok from federal devices MORE (Ky.) want to keep the price tag of the next round of coronavirus relief legislation at $1 trillion, but that is looking like it will be a challenge. The variety of proposals now being pushed by the Trump administration, GOP lawmakers and Democrats could easily push the new coronavirus relief bill beyond the $2 trillion mark, lawmakers and aides acknowledge. (The Hill)
Pelosi calls coronavirus the “Trump virus.” Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Health Care: Pfizer lands nearly b from Trump administration for COVID vaccine | FEMA head: ‘We have a ways to go’ on having enough PPE | Fauci on coronavirus: ‘I don’t really see us eradicating it’ House votes to remove Confederate statues from Capitol Democratic lawmakers launch ‘Mean Girls’-inspired initiative to promote face masks MORE (D-Calif.) dubbed the coronavirus the “Trump virus” on Tuesday evening, ratcheting up her rhetoric over President Trump’s handling of the pandemic. “Well, I think with the president’s comments today, he recognized the mistakes he has made by now embracing mask-wearing and the recognition this is not a hoax. It is a pandemic that has gotten worse before it will get better because of his inaction,” Pelosi said on CNN’s “The Situation Room.” “In fact, clearly, it is the Trump virus,” Pelosi added, reiterating the phrase later in the interview as well. (The Hill)
House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerOcasio-Cortez rejects Yoho apology as disingenuous House votes to remove Confederate statues from Capitol Democratic lawmakers launch ‘Mean Girls’-inspired initiative to promote face masks MORE (D-Md.)
@LeaderHoyer Coronavirus deaths rose by more than 1,000 yesterday, the biggest single-day increase since early June. This crisis isn’t going away; it’s getting worse. Republicans must work with Dems to provide Americans w/ the resources we included in the #HeroesAct.
Rep. Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikThe Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden, Obama reunite for socially distanced conversation The Hill’s Coronavirus Report: Mike Roman says 3M on track to deliver 2 billion respirators globally and 1 billion in US by end of year; US, Pfizer agree to 100M doses of COVID-19 vaccine that will be free to Americans McCarthy on Roger Stone: ‘Commuting him was correct’ MORE (R-N.Y.)
@RepStefanik China & others have attempted to hack and access info on our development of a #COVID19 vaccine. We must protect our researchers as they work tirelessly to develop a vaccine for the world, & we refuse to be exploited by China, Russia, or any other hackers.
Sen. Maria CantwellMaria Elaine CantwellThe Hill’s Coronavirus Report: Mike Roman says 3M on track to deliver 2 billion respirators globally and 1 billion in US by end of year; US, Pfizer agree to 100M doses of COVID-19 vaccine that will be free to Americans Overnight Energy: Supreme Court reinstates fast-track pipeline permit except for Keystone XL | Judge declines to reverse Dakota Access Pipeline shutdown OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Watchdog accuses Commerce of holding up ‘Sharpiegate’ report | Climate change erases millennia of cooling: study | Senate nixes proposal limiting Energy Department’s control on nuclear agency budget MORE (D-Wash.)
@SenatorCantwell Congress must extend support for everyone who has lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic & get more funding for our hospitals & schools. It’s also critical we increase testing & make sure our health care & front-line workers have the #PPE they need.
ACROSS THE NATION
Coronavirus a “Category 5 emergency” for Florida’s older population. Even as young adults have been the recent focus of concerns about growing COVID-19 cases across the United States, a Florida senior living advocacy group is likening the state’s skyrocketing deaths to the kind of destruction caused by a catastrophic hurricane. “If the coronavirus in Florida were a hurricane, its intensity in two weeks has reached Category 5 status,” LeadingAge Florida CEO Steve Bahmer said during a video conference. (NBC News)
Louisiana delays easing coronavirus restrictions. Louisiana has extended phase two of its economic reopening plan amid the coronavirus pandemic, as the state continues to see a spike in cases and deaths. The extension of the second phase, announced Tuesday by Gov. John Bel Edwards (D), comes as 1,691 new cases of COVID-19 were reported, bringing the total number of cases in the Bayou State during the pandemic to over 96,000. The state’s positivity rate has climbed above 15 percent. (The Hill)
Pandemic imperils redistricting reform efforts. Late-game efforts to reform the redistricting process that will get underway next year are suffering coronavirus setbacks, sidelining even basic campaign practices like gathering signatures. Supporters of redistricting reform must collect tens or hundreds of thousands of signatures to get initiatives on November’s ballot. But the COVID-19 restrictions in place in many cities and states have significantly hampered their ability to do so, prompting some campaigns to turn to the courts for help. (The Hill)
Virus is “beginning to accelerate in Africa,” WHO says. The spread of the coronavirus is starting to accelerate in parts of Africa, according to Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization’s health emergencies program, Reuters reports. He also pointed to signs of “worrying trends” in southern Europe and the Balkans. (CNBC)
Hong Kong emerges as coronavirus cautionary tale. Hong Kong on Wednesday recorded a record jump in coronavirus infections, most of them locally transmitted, as it emerges as a cautionary tale after making huge gains in suppressing the virus. Of the 113 cases, more than half could not be traced, health officials said, and 105 of them were locally transmitted. (Washington Post)
U.S. negotiates 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccine from Pfizer that will be free to Americans. Pfizer and BioNTech, a German biotech company, announced Wednesday that the U.S. has reached a $1.95 billion deal with them for an initial order of 100 million doses of their coronavirus vaccine. According to the announcement, Americans will receive the vaccine for free. The United States, which has a population of more than 300 million people, could get up to 500 million more doses of the vaccine. (The Hill)
Testing delays once again hamper COVID-19 response. Surging COVID-19 outbreaks in several states are straining testing capacity across the country as people wait several days or even weeks to get their results back, causing another setback to the U.S. response to the months-long pandemic. Lengthy turnaround times are undermining the fight against the coronavirus, experts say, making efforts to trace contacts of confirmed cases almost pointless. (The Hill)
Most people in U.S. are still highly susceptible to the coronavirus, CDC study finds. Only a small proportion of people in many parts of the United States had antibodies to the novel coronavirus as of this spring, indicating most of the population remains highly susceptible to the pathogen, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency also reported the number of actual coronavirus infections is probably far higher — by two to 13 times — than reported cases. (Washington Post)
Stocks flat as Congress wrangles over COVID-19 response. Stock markets on Wednesday held their ground as prospects faded that the next COVID-19 relief package in Congress would be done before August. Congress on Monday kicked off negotiations over a likely final COVID-19 bill in earnest with disagreements among Republicans over their ideal bill and, more broadly, between Republicans and Democrats over the size and scope of the bill. (The Hill)
United Airlines requires customers to wear masks in airports. Customers flying United Airlines will now have to wear masks in airports, the company announced Wednesday. Face masks will now be required at airport kiosks, customer service counters, gates and baggage claim areas. United Airlines patrons with United Club access will also need to wear masks. (Washington Post)
US sales of existing homes jump 20 percent after a 3-month slump. Americans stepped up their home purchases in June by a robust 20.7 percent after the pandemic had caused sales to crater in the prior three months. But the housing market could struggle to rebound further in the face of the resurgent viral outbreak and a shrinking supply of homes for sale. (Fox Business)
ISSUES, CAUSES, PASSIONS
COVID-19 is quietly ravaging the LGBTQ community. A growing body of research is showing that Black people are being hit disproportionately hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, but a lack of LGBTQ-inclusive data designed to capture the experiences of people who are both racial and sexual minorities renders many of us invisible — and puts us at even greater risk of harm. (David J. Johns and Earl Fowlkes, Jr. for The Hill)
As COVID-19 crisis continues, suicide risk for veterans likely to grow. The COVID-19 pandemic, and the economic cataclysm it has wrought, have had an enormous impact on the mental health of our country. Americans of all stripes are preoccupied with making ends meet, worried about their physical health, affected by the constant isolation and stressed out by the uncertainty of when life will once again get back to a place of at least semi-normality. (Josh Neman for The Hill)
Masks halt COVID, but pro-sports athletes are divided on wearing them. COVID-19 shut down professional sports across the globe in mid-March and is still very much “calling the shots,” according to Christopher Worsham, a pulmonologist and critical care physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. But now that pro sports are gearing up to start or restart their 2020 seasons amid a global pandemic — and play to empty stadiums and arenas — athletes have differing opinions about whether masks should, or even can, be worn during games. (NBC News)
How “Grey’s Anatomy” will tackle COVID-19 pandemic in season 17. “Grey’s Anatomy” will “for sure” tackle the COVID-19 pandemic when it returns for season 17, according to showrunner Krista Vernoff. Vernoff revealed this fact during the Television Academy’s “Quaranstreaming: Comfort TV That Keeps Us Going” panel Tuesday, saying “there’s no way to be a long-running medical show and not do the medical story of our lifetimes.” (Good Morning America)
ICYMI: STEVE’S INTERVIEWS, 15 MINUTES EACH
Watch all Coronavirus Report interviews here.
YOUR WORLD, YOUR STORIES
SEND US YOUR OWN PICS – from your own walks or adventures – during this time of physical distancing but social connection. And SEND US YOUR STORIES of how teleworking is going, what you have learned from homeschooling, new ways to exercise, and special moments or standout heroism you want to share. What’s working for you? What’s comic in these dark days?
Send to [email protected]. Our thoughts are with you, our readers, and we hope and trust that no matter the weight of burdens on you now — and it’s not a good story for everyone we know — that we all stand together, resilient and confident, on the other side of this. There will be another side.
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