WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY
> Single day COVID-19 infections top 50,000 in US for first time
> Surpassing expectations, US economy adds 4.8 million jobs in June
> In wide-ranging interview, Trump says he’s ‘all for masks,’ supports another round of stimulus checks, thinks virus will still go away
> House unanimously passes PPP extension; President TrumpDonald John TrumpLincoln Project ad dubs Jared Kushner the ‘Secretary of Failure’ Pence: Chief Justice Roberts ‘has been a disappointment to conservatives’ Twitter bans Trump campaign until it deletes tweet with COVID-19 misinformation MORE expected to sign bill
> COVID-19 testing labs near capacity as cases surge throughout the country
> Record 65 percent say coronavirus situation getting worse
> Inovio’s COVID-19 vaccine shows promise in test
> Outbreak at US embassy in Riyadh deepens concerns over safety of US diplomats in Saudi Arabia
> 5 major airlines finalize Treasury loans amid coronavirus travel bust
> Rep. Rodney DavisRodney Lee DavisIllinois Republican tests positive for coronavirus The Hill’s Campaign Report: Even the Post Office is political now | Primary action tonight | Super PACS at war House Democrats target Midwestern GOP seats MORE says most important thing White House can do on COVID-19 is give consistent messaging, opposes mailing ballots to every voter in the nation, adds nation needs to incentivize move of supply chain in key industries back to US
THE INTERVIEW Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.)
Rep. Rodney Davis says most important thing White House can do on COVID-19 is give consistent messaging, opposes mailing ballots to every voter in the nation, adds nation needs to incentivize move of supply chain in key industries back to US.
Watch the full interview here.
THE HILL’S CORONAVIRUS REPORT Welcome to The Hill’s Coronavirus Report. It’s Thursday, July 2.
On June 30, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released new guidance to industry and researchers engaged in developing safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. One of the most-reported parts of the report is that any approved vaccine must demonstrate a minimum of 50 percent efficacy in protecting individuals from virus infection compared to those who receive a placebo. However, the report is extensive and offers guidance on many parts of the vaccine development process, and it underscores what FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said during his congressional testimony: There will be no shortcuts to a vaccine and public health will not be compromised in the pursuit of pharmacological weapons to fight COVID-19.
Many in the industry and in the media jumped to the conclusion after reading the report that the FDA had just closed down any path to successful vaccine development, approval and deployment/distribution in 2020. I can’t analyze whether that is the case or not. But I do know that everything we have heard from the White House coronavirus task force has been about shortening the timeline in vaccine development, changing the way and timing of clinical trials and leaning in on early drug experimentation approvals. And now, the FDA seems to be blowing a whistle and saying the process will slow and move not at warp speed, but much more incrementally and conventionally.
To be fair, Hahn said on “Good Morning America” today that he believes that the U.S. is on track to have a vaccine in place before the end of this year or by early 2021. But at minimum, there are mixed signals in the research marketplace.
A lot has been riding on potentially getting a vaccine or vaccines identified and produced at some scale in 2020 and ramping up in early 2021. For that to happen, there must be shortcuts, and there must be some risks taken.
What Hahn and his team may be saying today regarding safe-guarding public health equities may sound laudable in this moment. However, there is a raging national public health risk attacking Americans today that must also be made part of the picture and not a moment can be lost. Maybe there is no other way than to get a vaccine launched in 2021, but if all of this money, effort, tension, and political and scientific drama to get something discovered and produced sooner has been folly — then make that clear now.
If there is no vaccine until 2021, and broad distribution of that vaccine doesn’t occur for many months, then there seems to be little way for the U.S. to avoid Anthony FauciAnthony FauciCNN’s Burnett presses Navarro on hydroxychloroquine in combative interview: ‘You’re an economist, not a scientist’ Overnight Health Care: Fauci says family has faced threats | Moderna to charge to a dose for its vaccine | NYC adding checkpoints to enforce quarantine Fauci says family has faced threats, harassment amid pandemic MORE’s nightmare of 100,000 new infections a day given the unwillingness of many to embrace social distancing, masks and more sensible hygienic norms.
The FDA needs to weigh that part of the public health collapse equation as well.
— Steve Clemons
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THE HILL ‘VIRTUALLY’ LIVE Health Reimagined: The Future of Healthcare | July 9, 2020
On Thursday, July 9, The Hill Virtually Live hosts Health Reimagined: The Future of Healthcare. We will be bringing thoughtful leaders from across the public and private sector together to talk about lessons from the pandemic, medical breakthroughs, treatments and cures, and eliminating racial disparities. Anthony Fauci, Rep. Lauren UnderwoodLauren UnderwoodObama announces first wave of 2020 endorsements The Hill’s Coronavirus Report: GoDaddy CEO Aman Bhutani says DC policymakers need to do more to support ventures and ‘solo-preneurs’; Federal unemployment benefits expire as coronavirus deal-making deadlocks The Hill’s Coronavirus Report: iBIO Chairman and CEO Thomas Isett says developing a safe vaccine is paramount; US surpasses 150,000 coronavirus deaths with roughy one death per minute MORE (D-Ill.), Patrice Harris and more join Editor-at-Large Steve Clemons. Register Now!
CLICK HERE to register and view our lineup of speakers. Tweet us @TheHillEvents using #TheHillHealth
CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
There are 10,742,416 reported cases of COVID-19 throughout the world and 517,162 coronavirus-linked deaths globally as of the time of this newsletter.
The U.S. is reporting 2,699,658 cases and 128,018464 deaths. Brazil is reporting 1,448,753 cases. Russia 660,231. India 604,641. U.K. 314,992. Peru 288,477. Chile 282,043. Spain 249,659. Italy 240,760. Iran 232,863. Mexico 231,770. Pakistan 217,809. France 203,640. Turkey 201,098.
Elsewhere throughout the world:
> A top World Health Organization official warned Thursday that some countries may need to reimplement lockdown measures to curb the spread of the virus.
> Mexico’s death toll continues to rise and has surpassed 28,000.
> New Zealand’s health minister, David Clark, resigned Thursday, saying that his missteps during the pandemic had become a distraction for the government.
> An outbreak at the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia — and the kingdom more broadly — prompted fears over the safety of diplomats, leading the State Department to allow voluntary departures.
> Nearly six weeks after Tokyo lifted a coronavirus-related state of emergency and declared the virus contained in the Japanese capital, new cases spiked to 107 on Thursday, up from 67 just a day earlier and the highest level since May 2.
New York is reporting 394,079 cases. California 238,957. Texas 172,486. New Jersey 171,928. Florida 169,106. Illinois 144,013. Massachusetts 108,882. Pennsylvania 91,775. Georgia 84,237. Arizona 84,105. Michigan 71,089. Maryland 68,423. North Carolina 66,751. Virginia 63,735. Louisiana 60,178. Ohio 52,865. Connecticut 46,572.
Here at home:
> California, Texas, Arizona, North Carolina and Georgia all broke their previous single-day records for newly reported coronavirus cases Wednesday, while Louisiana’s infection rates continued to rise.
> Arizona reported a record number of coronavirus-related deaths Wednesday as intensive care units approached 90 percent capacity.
> Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced a new order Wednesday requiring residents to wear masks whenever they leave their homes, taking effect immediately.
> Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) has signed an executive order to close indoor seating in bars in most of lower Michigan to preserve the state’s progress against COVID-19.
> California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomCalifornia’s reported decline in infection rate may not be accurate, official says California: Dual threats of wildfire and COVID-19 underscore need for prevention The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association – Progress slow on coronavirus bill MORE (D) ordered indoor businesses in 19 counties to close effective immediately as the state grapples with a resurgence of cases.
The U.S. is reporting the results of 32,827,359 COVID-19 tests and 729,994 full recoveries from the virus.
Trump says he supports payments larger than $1,200 in next stimulus bill. President Trump supports another round of economic impact payments to individuals, he told Fox Business on Wednesday. Trump told Fox Business’s Blake Burman that he supported the measure as part of another stimulus package, so long as it is “done properly.” “I support actually larger numbers than the Democrats, but it’s got to be done properly,” Trump said. “I want the money getting to people to be larger so they can spend it. I want the money to get there quickly and in a non-complicated fashion.” (Fox Business)
In the same interview, Trump reiterates: The virus will just go away. Speaking to Fox Business’s Blake Burman on Wednesday, the president again speculated that, perhaps, the virus will simply pack up and leave. “I think we’re going to be very good with the coronavirus,” Trump said. “I think that, at some point, that’s going to sort of disappear, I hope.” “You still believe so?” replied Burman. “Disappear?” “Well, I do, I do,” Trump replied. “Yeah, sure.” (Washington Post)
House votes to extend deadline for small-business loan applications; President Trump expected to sign bill. The House on Wednesday unanimously passed an extension to the $660 billion Paycheck Protection Program less than a day after the program expired. The Senate passed the extension Tuesday, and the House vote sends the bill to President Trump’s desk. Upon the president’s approval, the extension will keep the small-business loan program open to applications until Aug. 8. (The Hill)
Rep. Debbie Wasserman SchultzDeborah (Debbie) Wasserman SchultzMichelle Obama wishes Barack a happy birthday: ‘My favorite guy’ Florida county official apologizes for social media post invoking Hitler The Hill’s Coronavirus Report: Rep. Lauren Underwood says Americans face economic crisis if Senate fails to act on unemployment benefits extension; US surpasses 4 million cases, 1,000+ deaths for third straight day MORE (D-Fla.)
@RepDWStweets With 10k+ new cases in a single day,@GovRonDeSantis must issue a statewide mask mandate ahead of the holiday weekend. We cannot risk a super-spreader incident.
Rep. Tom ReedThomas (Tom) W. ReedHouse approves two child care bills aimed at pandemic Diabetes Caucus co-chairs say telehealth expansion to continue beyond pandemic The Hill’s 12:30 Report – Presented by Facebook – Mnuchin previews GOP coronavirus relief package MORE (R-N.Y.)
@RepTomReed 4.8 million jobs added in June! Unemployment rates and additional nonfarm payroll metrics also showed significant improvements. Standing together, we can continue to build on this progress and help working families across the country.
Sen. Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichOVERNIGHT ENERGY: 20 states sue over Trump rule limiting states from blocking pipeline projects | House Democrats add ‘forever chemicals’ provisions to defense bill after spiking big amendment | Lawmakers seek extension for tribes to spend stimulus money Lawmakers seek extension for tribes to spend stimulus money following Treasury delays The Hill’s Coronavirus Report: Rep. Rodney Davis says most important thing White House can do on COVID-19 is give consistent messaging; US new cases surpass 50k for first time MORE (D-N.M.) @MartinHeinrich I find it disgusting that the president is using a global pandemic as cover to implement its inhumane, anti-immigrant policies and turn away migrant children at our nation’s southern border—many of whom are fleeing extreme violence and terror in their home countries.
ACROSS THE NATION
Single-day US coronavirus infections top 50,000 for first time. The U.S. on Wednesday reported more than 50,000 confirmed new cases of the novel coronavirus, as states across the nation paused reopening plans due to a recent surge in infections. The figure represented a new single-day high in the country, which has reported nearly 2.7 million total cases of COVID-19 and more than 128,000 deaths from it. (The Hill)
Record 65 percent say coronavirus situation getting worse. More than 6 in 10 Americans believe the coronavirus outbreak in the United States is getting worse, a record number according to a new Gallup survey. (The Hill)
South Florida counties require people to wear face masks. Miami-Dade and Broward counties, the most populous areas of Florida, are now requiring people to wear face masks in all public spaces in an effort to contain a surging coronavirus outbreak across the state. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said the region’s economy can continue to reopen only if people maintain social distancing, wear a mask and stay home unless they have to go to work or a store. (CNBC)
Australia thought it had the outbreak under control. Then, it hit the vulnerable. As it has elsewhere in the world, the coronavirus found a hole in Australia’s system: It spread in part because of the sharing of a cigarette lighter among security guards working at a hotel where returning international travelers are being quarantined. The surge shows how even in countries that appear to be on track to safely resume normal life, the virus can quickly resurface. (New York Times)
Days after a wedding in India, the groom died and guests tested positive for the virus. A groom felt ill at his wedding. Days later, he was dead. Soon, at least 100 guests had tested positive for the coronavirus. Now, Indian officials have opened an investigation into the mid-June gathering, which some experts are calling a superspreader event, attended by more than 300 guests in the city of Patna, in the northeastern state of Bihar, according to relatives who were there. (New York Times)
Late action on virus prompts fears over safety of U.S. diplomats in Saudi Arabia. Inside the sprawling American Embassy compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, a coronavirus outbreak was spreading. Dozens of embassy employees became sick last month, and more than 20 others were quarantined after a birthday barbecue became a potential vector for the spread of the disease. A bleak analysis from within the embassy that circulated in closed channels in Riyadh and Washington late last month likened the coronavirus situation in Saudi Arabia to that of New York City in March, when an outbreak was set to explode. (New York Times)
U.S. on track to have vaccine ready by year’s end or early 2021, FDA chief says. The United States is on track to have a vaccine against the coronavirus by the end of this year or early next year, according to Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn, a member of the White House coronavirus task force. The FDA has given authorization to proceed with clinical trials for four different vaccines, Hahn said Thursday in an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America.” (Washington Post)
COVID-19 testing labs near capacity as cases surge across the U.S., top health official says. A day after Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, warned that the United States could soar to 100,000 daily new cases, a top federal health official admitted that labs across the country were scrambling to meet the demand. It is “absolutely correct that some labs across the country are reaching or are near capacity,” Adm. Brett Giroir, who is overseeing the nation’s COVID-19 testing, said Wednesday during a briefing with reporters. (NBC News)
Inovio’s COVID-19 vaccine shows promise in test. U.S. firm Inovio Pharmaceuticals says an experimental vaccine it is developing holds promise, and was determined to be safe in an early-stage clinical test. It said on Tuesday that the results of the human trial showed that the value of antibodies increased and immune responses were enhanced in 34 of the 36 people vaccinated. (NHK)
Economy adds nearly 5 million jobs in June, surpassing expectations. The U.S. economy added 4.8 million jobs in June, according to data released Thursday by the Labor Department, as the gradual easing of coronavirus-related restrictions helped more businesses reopen and bring back workers. The unemployment rate also fell to 11.1 percent last month, according to the report, as more workers who were laid off earlier this year were able to return to their pre-pandemic jobs. (The Hill)
American Airlines, four others finalize Treasury loans amid coronavirus travel bust. The Treasury Department announced it has finalized the terms of loans for five U.S. airlines, including American Airlines, amid the coronavirus travel bust after setting aside $46 billion for loans and loan guarantees to the airline industry thanks to the CARES Act. (Fox Business)
Apple to reclose another 30 stores. Apple plans to close 30 additional stores this week in the United States. That brings the total to 77 reclosed stores out of 271 as COVID-19 cases rapidly rise in several regions around the country. (CNBC)
ISSUES, CAUSES, PASSIONS
Applying the lessons of Ebola to the COVID-19 pandemic. At this point in history, Ebola is not a new disease. There is a general understanding of the practices needed to control an outbreak, including early detection, surveillance, contact tracing, isolation and best practices for caring for infected individuals and burying the dead. The Ebola outbreak saw a rapid buildup of public health capacity to fight the disease, which is now available to fight other outbreaks. Conversely, COVID-19 is a novel disease, and we are learning more about it as the pandemic continues. (Kevin Berry for The Hill)
COVID-19, diplomacy and disruptive leaders: What can they teach us? Because some of the major disruptions have been furthered by adversarial leaders such as Xi Jinping, Kim Jong UnKim Jong UnHiroshima, Nagasaki, and the new nuclear danger Kim: North Korea’s nuclear weapons will prevent war The Hill’s Coronavirus Report: Rep. Angie Craig says we need an equitable distribution plan for an eventual vaccine that reaches all communities; Moderna vaccine enters phase 3 trial in US today MORE, Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinThe tragedy of Trump’s foreign policy Steele’s dossier: ‘Clown show’ or the greatest Russian coup? US ‘deeply troubled’ by escalating conflict in Libya MORE — and, according to some, even President Trump — questions about the long-term, downstream effects of such leadership and diplomacy have tended to focus more upon these leaders and their strategic views and personalities, and less upon structural changes in diplomacy which have, de facto, already occurred. (Kenneth B. Dekleva for The Hill)
After 53 years of marriage, a Texas couple died from COVID-19 while holding hands. Betty and Curtis Tarpley were together for most of their lives — they went to the same high school in Illinois, met and fell in love in California as adults, got married, and raised two kids. On June 18, after 53 years as a married couple, the two died from coronavirus within an hour of each other in a Texas hospital, spending their last moments together holding hands, their son told CNN. (CNN)
ICYMI: STEVE’S INTERVIEWS, 15 MINUTES EACH
Watch all Coronavirus Report interviews here.
YOUR WORLD, YOUR STORIES
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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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