WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY
> Trump cheers on governors who are reopening and ignoring White House guidelines
> White House blocking Fauci testimony to House: ‘Just a bunch of Trump haters’
> US noticeably absent from worldwide virtual vaccine summit
> NYC health officials: Mysterious syndrome affecting children could be linked to COVID-19
> French scientists discover country treated coronavirus patient in December
> Starbucks to open 85 percent of US cafes by end of week
> Bipartisan senators & House members ally with chef José Andrés to introduce FEED Act to pay restaurants to feed vulnerable populations
> BIO CEO Jim Greenwood vows biopharmaceutical industry will do everything possible to make sure everyone gets needed therapies and vaccines
Children may not be safe from COVID-19 concerns. Fifteen children, many of whom had the coronavirus, have recently been hospitalized in New York City with a mysterious syndrome that doctors do not yet fully understand but that has also been reported in several European countries, health officials announced on Monday night. Former FDA chief Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Tuesday morning that the “unusual phenomena” affecting children could potentially be linked to the coronavirus, demonstrating that “we don’t understand this virus well.” New York City health officials describe the condition as a “multisystem inflammatory syndrome potentially associated with COVID-19.”
President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump volunteers kept ‘VIP’ list of leads for medical supplies: report Over half of workforce at Tyson plant in Iowa tests positive for coronavirus Trump offers support for those who have lost family due to coronavirus MORE on Tuesday said Anthony FauciAnthony FauciFauci was model for hero in romance novel by Sally Quinn Trump, officials don’t wear masks on trip to mask-making facility Trump says Fauci, Birx will still be involved in COVID-19 efforts MORE will be allowed to testify before the Senate next week, but that he would prevent the government’s top infectious diseases expert from appearing before the House because he believes it’s full of “Trump haters.” (The Hill)
BIO CEO James Greenwood says U.S. failed for years to heed warnings of coming pandemic. Greenwood vows that biopharmaceutical firms will do everything possible to make sure everyone gets needed therapies and vaccines and says China, followed by the U.S., were slow to act on spreading virus
THE HILL’S CORONAVIRUS REPORT Welcome to The Hill’s Coronavirus Report. It’s Tuesday, May 5.
On Monday, I spoke to Rep. Rosa DeLauroRosa Luisa DeLauroPaid sick days and paid leave are health and economic recovery requirements The Hill’s Coronavirus Report: BIO CEO Greenwood says US failed for years to heed warnings of coming pandemic; Trump: Fauci won’t testify to ‘a bunch of Trump haters’ Lawmakers introduce bill backed by José Andrés to help restaurants, feed vulnerable MORE (D-Conn.) who heard about crops being plowed over, milk being destroyed, piglets being aborted and more -– all at a time when vulnerable communities in the United States are going hungry. She teamed up with House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin PetersonCollin Clark PetersonThe Hill’s Coronavirus Report: BIO CEO Greenwood says US failed for years to heed warnings of coming pandemic; Trump: Fauci won’t testify to ‘a bunch of Trump haters’ The Hill’s Coronavirus Report: DeLauro questions why White House is blocking Fauci from testifying before House panel, wants Pelosi to stay on into next Congress House Democrats, José Andrés and former Agriculture secretaries push plan to protect food supply MORE (D-Minn.) as well as chef José Andrés, former Secretaries of Agriculture Dan Glickman and Tom VilsackThomas James VilsackUSDA: Farm-to-school programs help schools serve healthier meals OVERNIGHT MONEY: House poised to pass debt-ceiling bill MORE to put together an action plan to save America’s stressed out food supply chain and connect it to the food programs that serve communities in real need today. This is a good news story.
Another “maybe it gets better” story is that World Central Kitchen and Andrés have helped cobble together a bipartisan alliance with Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottThe Hill’s Coronavirus Report: BIO CEO Greenwood says US failed for years to heed warnings of coming pandemic; Trump: Fauci won’t testify to ‘a bunch of Trump haters’ Lawmakers introduce bill backed by José Andrés to help restaurants, feed vulnerable John Ratcliffe is the right choice for director of national intelligence — and for America MORE (R-S.C.), Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisSanders not urging Biden to pick Warren as running mate: report The Hill’s Coronavirus Report: BIO CEO Greenwood says US failed for years to heed warnings of coming pandemic; Trump: Fauci won’t testify to ‘a bunch of Trump haters’ Lawmakers introduce bill backed by José Andrés to help restaurants, feed vulnerable MORE (D-Calif.), Rep. Mike ThompsonCharles (Mike) Michael ThompsonThe Hill’s Coronavirus Report: BIO CEO Greenwood says US failed for years to heed warnings of coming pandemic; Trump: Fauci won’t testify to ‘a bunch of Trump haters’ Lawmakers introduce bill backed by José Andrés to help restaurants, feed vulnerable Insurance industry warns its companies not built withstand ‘catastrophic and nearly universal’ losses MORE (D-Calif.), Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), and Rep. Rodney DavisRodney Lee DavisThe Hill’s Coronavirus Report: BIO CEO Greenwood says US failed for years to heed warnings of coming pandemic; Trump: Fauci won’t testify to ‘a bunch of Trump haters’ Lawmakers introduce bill backed by José Andrés to help restaurants, feed vulnerable Parties divided over health risks to reopening Capitol MORE (R-Ill.) to introduce today the FEMA Empowering Essential Deliveries (FEED) Act. According to a release on the effort, “This bill allows the Federal government to pay 100 percent of the cost to states and localities that partner with restaurants and nonprofits to prepare nutritious meals for vulnerable populations, such as seniors and underprivileged children” who have suffered due to the coronavirus.
The question is why is this needed? Why can’t state and local governments get this sort of bridge built between restaurants willing to help and vulnerable communities now? The answer is simple. The finances of local and state governments are cratering at the moment — hit by the earthquake of surging public health expenditures and the tsunami of collapsing tax revenue while the economy is in a coma. Getting the federal government to foot the bill of this food will feed the hungry, keep some restaurants alive, and give some of that agricultural product — the milk, pork, corn and soy that DeLauro was speaking about — a channel to those who will buy and use that food. Congrats to Andrés for convincing both Republicans and Democrats to understand the need for this support now.
On Wednesday, José Andrés will be joining me for my daily Coronavirus Report interview.
– Steve Clemons
Your Coronavirus Report team includes Steve Clemons, editor-at-large of The Hill, and researcher Andrew Wargofchik. Follow us on Twitter at @SCClemons and @a_wargofchik. CLICK HERE to subscribe to The Hill’s Coronavirus Special Report. To stay up-to-date on all things coronavirus, visit TheHill.com and SUBSCRIBE to our Overnight Healthcare newsletter for the latest developments from the daily White House coronavirus task force briefings.
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CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
There are 3,628,824 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the world. 254,430 have died from the virus.
The U.S. is reporting 1,192,119 and 70,115 deaths as of the time of this newsletter. 218,011 reported cases in Spain. 213,013 in Italy. The U.K. is reporting 196,238 cases. 169,583 in France. Russia 155,370. 108,620 in Brazil. 99,970 in Iran. 83,966 in China. 62,052 in Canada. 46,476 in India. 23,216 in Sweden. 17,142 in Qatar. 16,268 in Israel. 1,799 in Iceland. 1,486 in New Zealand, where Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has declared “victory” over the first wave of the virus.
New York and New Jersey continue to see cases with rise with 321,192 and 130,690 cases respectively. 69,087 reported cases in Massachusetts. 63,777 in Illinois. 56,168 in California. 53,434 in Pennsylvania. 43,990 in Michigan. 37,439 in Florida. 32,879 in Texas. 7,850 in Minnesota. Nebraska is reporting 6,036 cases. 5,630 in Nevada. 1,226 in Maine. 621 in Hawaii. 145 in Guam.
7,285,178 coronavirus tests have been conducted in the U.S and 187,180 full recoveries from COVID-19 have been reported.
Trump cheers on governors even as they ignore White House coronavirus guidelines in race to reopen. States across the country — such as Texas, Indiana, Colorado and Florida — are moving swiftly to reopen their economies despite failing to achieve benchmarks laid out by the White House for when social distancing restrictions could be eased to ensure the public’s safety. These governors’ biggest cheerleader is President Trump who is hailing the broad economic reopening that health experts worry has started too quickly. (Washington Post)
Bipartisan group of senators and House members ally with chef José Andrés to introduce FEED Act to pay restaurants to feed vulnerable populations. Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.) joined chef José Andrés and World Central Kitchen in introducing the FEMA Empowering Essential Deliveries (FEED) Act. This bill allows the federal government to pay 100 percent of the cost to states and localities that partner with restaurants and nonprofits to prepare nutritious meals for vulnerable populations, such as seniors and underprivileged children. These partnerships will support businesses and small farmers as the coronavirus pandemic continues. (The Hill)
Numbers keep going up! Trump runs into trouble with expectations game. President Trump is mired in controversy over projections about the total number of deaths from COVID-19. His detractors accuse him of pulling figures out of thin air, giving the nation false hope and seeking to boost his reelection odds. Trump’s defenders, however, assert he is simply fulfilling the traditional role of a president in trying to bolster morale during a crisis. (The Hill)
Pelosi slams White House for blocking coronavirus task force members from testifying: “They might be afraid of the truth.” Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMcConnell pressed to expand coronavirus testing in Senate Pelosi says she believes Biden’s denial of assault claim: ‘I’m not going to answer this question again’ Hillicon Valley: Uber, Lyft sued in California | Ratcliffe refuses to say whether Russian interference favored Trump | Facebook takes down QAnon conspiracy accounts | Airbnb cuts workforce MORE (D-Calif.) blasted the White House’s move to restrict officials leading the nation’s coronavirus response from testifying before Congress, suggesting that the Trump administration “might be afraid of the truth.” (The Hill)
Rep. Virginia FoxxVirginia Ann FoxxThe Hill’s Coronavirus Report: BIO CEO Greenwood says US failed for years to heed warnings of coming pandemic; Trump: Fauci won’t testify to ‘a bunch of Trump haters’ Hillicon Valley: Amazon VP resigns in protest | Republicans eye university ties to China | Support rises for vote by mail Republicans seek information on Chinese ties to US universities MORE (R-N.C.)
@virginiafoxx House Democrats are complacent with inaction and indifference. China’s influence continues to grow. Americans are losing their jobs. Small businesses have growing weight on their shoulders. Meanwhile, House Democrats are nowhere to be found. We cannot allow any more delay.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)
@SenBlumenthal Carnival must focus on making real, systemic change, not planning when they can set sail again. This pandemic highlights what many of us already knew—cruise lines require major health & safety reform.
Rep. Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdThe Hill’s Coronavirus Report: BIO CEO Greenwood says US failed for years to heed warnings of coming pandemic; Trump: Fauci won’t testify to ‘a bunch of Trump haters’ The ‘new normal’ takes shape on Capitol Hill Warren endorses 20 Democratic women for down-ballot races MORE (R-Texas)
@HurdOnTheHill If @RepRatcliffe had been in Congress during the time I was an undercover CIA agent & I’d had the fortune to meet him, I would have stayed in the CIA because I would have found someone I trusted to make our nation’s laws & support what we were doing.
ACROSS THE NATION
Coronavirus protests take aim at scientists, elites. After weeks of stay-at-home orders, millions of lost jobs and trillions in emergency government spending, conservative agitators have begun to turn their ire on the scientists themselves, blaming them for overhyping a health crisis and in the process creating an economic one from which it will take years to recover. (The Hill)
Push to reopen national parks sparks pandemic concerns. National parks are starting to reopen as they seek to balance public safety concerns with responding to the White House’s push to start reopening sites. Ahead of the busy summer season for national park visits, the Everglades National Park in Florida reinstated access to some roads Monday. (The Hill)
2020 Edelman trust barometer spring update: Trust and the COVID-19 pandemic reveals a remarkable shift. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, government trust surged 11 points to an all-time high of 65 percent, making it the most trusted institution for the first time in the 20 years of study. Despite a 4-point increase in trust in business and several high-profile actions taken by companies and CEOs to help those in need, there is marked disappointment in how the private sector has performed during the crisis. This is a moment of reckoning for business, which must now deliver on the promise of stakeholder capitalism. (Edelman Trust Barometer Update)
How about mannequins at sports stadiums? In an interview with Peter Hamby of Snapchat’s Good Luck America, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said, “I don’t think you’re going to see crowds in stadiums. I don’t know if you saw it, but in Taiwan they had their first games and they actually had mannequins in the seats. You may get virtual fans, but I think there’s going to be enough challenges trying to get players to different cities. So I don’t see crowds in our near future, but I think we can be innovative.” (Good Luck America)
The world came together for a virtual vaccine summit. The U.S. was conspicuously absent. World leaders came together in a virtual summit Monday to pledge billions of dollars to quickly develop vaccines and drugs to fight the coronavirus. The online conference, led by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and a half-dozen countries, was set to raise $8.2 billion from governments, philanthropies and the private sector to fund research and mass-produce drugs, vaccines and testing kits to combat the virus. Missing from the roster was the Trump administration. (Washington Post)
French scientists discover nation treated coronavirus patient in December. French scientists have identified the earliest-known case of COVID-19 in the nation: a patient was treated in a hospital near Paris in December, an indication that the virus has been spreading across the world for far longer than had previously been known. The doctors from the Groupe Hospitalier Paris Seine in Saint-Denis said a sample taken from a 42-year-old fishmonger, admitted to the emergency room on Dec. 27, had tested positive for the coronavirus. (The Hill)
This drug may cause birth defects. Japan’s pushing it for coronavirus. The supposed beacon of hope is an antiviral medicine known as Avigan, a Japanese-made medication with little evidence to prove it effectively combats COVID-19. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pushed the homegrown drug in news conferences and in meetings with world leaders, including a call with Trump and the other heads of the Group of 7 nations. (New York Times)
Venice Film Festival surveys industry to gauge concerns, participation. Venice Film Festival organizers have sent a letter to a wide range of film industry executives to survey concerns and suggestions about the upcoming edition, which is still scheduled to run Sept. 2-12. The letter, which was signed by Venice’s artistic director Alberto Barbera, is meant to gauge how many filmmakers, actors and producers are willing to turn up at the event before a decision is taken at the end of the month on whether to hold this year’s event. (Variety)
Fauci dismisses “circular argument” coronavirus originated in Chinese lab. Anthony Fauci shot down theories that the coronavirus was man-made or released accidentally from a Chinese lab. In a wide-ranging interview with National Geographic, Fauci said available research indicated the virus evolved naturally. (The Hill)
Pfizer and BioNTech dose first participants as part of global COVID-19 MRNA vaccine development program. Pfizer and BioNTech announced Tuesday that the first participants have been dosed in the U.S. in the phase one/two clinical trial for the BNT162 vaccine program to prevent COVID-19. The trial is part of a global development program, and the dosing of the first cohort in Germany was completed last week. (Pfizer release). [See Steve Clemons’s recent interview with Pfizer chief scientist Mikael Dolsten here.]
Alnylam has its top pick for a COVID-19 drug. Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and Vir Biotechnology said Monday that, after evaluating hundreds of potential drugs for COVID-19, they have selected one to move forward into human testing. In theory, the drug would interfere with the genetic instructions the novel coronavirus uses to replicate. According to Alnylam and Vir, preclinical tests indicated that their drug, even at low concentrations, is highly potent against the virus. (BioPharmaDive)
Consumer debt surged to $14.3T before worst of coronavirus crisis, Fed says. Household debt surged by more than $150 billion to a new record high in the first three months of the year, just before the worst of the coronavirus pandemic began to batter Americans’ finances, according to the New York Federal Reserve. The results don’t capture the full extent of the pandemic’s impact because the data was collected through March 31, just two weeks into the virus-induced lockdown. (Fox Business)
Venti please! Starbucks to open 85 percent of US stores by end of week. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said that more than 85 percent of the U.S. company-operated locations will be reopened by the end of the week, with modified operations and hours. The chain plans to have more than 90 percent of cafes open by early June. (CNBC)
NFL announces release date for 2020 schedule. The National Football League will release its regular-season schedule on Thursday night as it continues conducting business mostly as usual amid the coronavirus pandemic. The schedule will be revealed in a three-hour telecast on NFL Network starting at 8 p.m. (New York Post)
IDEAS, CAUSES, PASSION
If there was no cover-up, why is China opposing an inquiry? China insists it has been fully transparent and hidden nothing on the killer coronavirus, whose international spread from Wuhan has turned into the greatest global disaster of our time. So why is Beijing rancorously opposing an independent international inquiry into the origins and spread of the coronavirus? (Brahma Chellaney for The Hill)
The Obamas to headline YouTube virtual graduation ceremony with BTS, Lady Gaga and more. YouTube is pumping up the 2020 virtual pomp-and-circumstance circuit with a video graduation ceremony, including commencement addresses delivered by former President Obama and Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaMore than 800 public health experts call on Congress to fund mail-in voting The Hill’s Coronavirus Report: BIO CEO Greenwood says US failed for years to heed warnings of coming pandemic; Trump: Fauci won’t testify to ‘a bunch of Trump haters’ Obamas to participate in class of 2020 virtual commencement MORE. YouTube’s “Dear Class of 2020” original special will feature other celebrities and notable names including BTS, Lady Gaga and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. (Variety)
Chance the Rapper hosting virtual award show for Teacher Appreciation Week. Chance the Rapper has a few surprises in store for educators across the nation in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week. The Grammy Award-winning artist is hosting his very own virtual awards show, dubbed “The Twilight Awards,” on his Instagram channel to surprise 10 teachers from schools in the U.S. and recognize them for their work. (Good Morning America)
ICYMI: STEVE’S INTERVIEWS, 15 MINUTES EACH
Watch all Coronavirus Report interviews here.
YOUR WORLD, YOUR STORIES
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.
CLICK HERE to subscribe to The Hill’s Coronavirus Report. To stay up-to-date on all things coronavirus, visit TheHill.com and SUBSCRIBE to our Overnight Healthcare newsletter for the latest developments from the daily White House coronavirus task force briefings.
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