WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY
> Six months into pandemic, coronavirus failures outweigh successes
> Fauci warns US is ‘going in the wrong direction’ and could see 100,000 coronavirus cases a day
> Health officials implore Americans to celebrate Independence Day at home
> Public concerns about the coronavirus reach highest levels since May
> Senate passes extension of application deadline for small-business loans
> GOP leadership, Fox News hosts urge Trump to wear mask publicly
> Prague residents host ‘farewell’ party for pandemic on iconic Charles Bridge
> Stocks open up on positive ADP jobs report; manufacturing grows in June
> Stagwell Group President Mark PennMark PennThe Hill’s Coronavirus Report: Stagwell President Mark Penn says Trump is losing on fighting the virus; Fauci says U.S. ‘going in the wrong direction’ in fight against virus Coronavirus Report: The Hill’s Steve Clemons interviews Mark Penn The Hill’s Coronavirus Report: San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus Artistic Director Tim Seelig says choirs are dangerous; Pence says, ‘We have saved lives’ MORE says Trump is losing on fighting the virus and on bringing nation together, says ‘Covid curtain of fear’ has descended across country, notes that 50 percent of both young and old fear they will die from the virus
It’s July 1! Half way through 2020 and six months into our battle against the novel coronavirus, the United States’s failures have outweighed successes. On Tuesday, Anthony FauciAnthony FauciTrump’s focus scattered amid multiple crises SC beach linked to hundreds of coronavirus cases as it braces for 4th of July tourists The Hill’s Coronavirus Report: Stagwell President Mark Penn says Trump is losing on fighting the virus; Fauci says U.S. ‘going in the wrong direction’ in fight against virus MORE said during a Senate hearing that the U.S. is “going in the wrong direction” in our battle against the virus and warned that the country could start seeing 100,000 new cases a day if current trends continue. There are still no readily available therapeutics or a proven vaccine to combat SARS-Cov-2 infection. We have no national testing nor contact tracing strategy. The simple act of wearing a mask — which is proven to dramatically lessen the degree of community spread — has become a political talking point throughout the country. President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse panel approves 0.5B defense policy bill House panel votes against curtailing Insurrection Act powers after heated debate House panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on ‘incentives’ to attack US troops MORE continues to refuse to wear a mask, even as his own vice president, Republicans across the country and Fox News hosts are urging him to do so as a sign of leadership. Trump remains at odds with the World Health Organization and our allies throughout the international community. U.S. new cases and hospitalization rates are higher than ever. Many Americans witnessed the horror of the epidemic in New York City and could not imagine things getting worse, but on the first of the sixth month of the pandemic, the White House has little to no wins to show for itself.
A deeper look back at the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic:
In the six months since the World Health Organization (WHO) detected a cluster of atypical pneumonia cases at a hospital in Wuhan, China, the coronavirus pandemic has touched every corner of the globe, carving a trail of death and despair as humankind races to catch up. But even after months of painful lockdowns worldwide, the virus is no closer to containment in many countries. Public health officials say the pandemic is getting worse, fueled by new infections in nations that have robust medical systems and poorer developing countries.
The number of new U.S. cases has risen sharply in recent weeks, led disproportionately by states in the South, the Midwest and the Sun Belt. More than a quarter-million people tested positive for the coronavirus last week, and more than 40,000 tested positive on three consecutive days over the weekend.
“We are now having 40-plus thousand new cases a day. I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around. And so I am very concerned,” Fauci told a Senate panel Tuesday.
Public health experts now worry that a rising tide of death is about to crest across the United States. Officials in Alabama, Arizona, California, Mississippi and Texas are reporting a surging number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, leading to fears that health systems could soon be overrun.
Read the full piece by The Hill’s Reid Wilson here.
THE INTERVIEW Mark Penn, president and CEO, The Stagwell Group
Stagwell Group President Mark Penn says Trump is losing on fighting the virus and on bringing nation together, says ‘Covid curtain of fear’ has descended across country, notes that 50 percent of both young and old fear they will die from the virus.
Watch the full interview here.
THE HILL’S CORONAVIRUS REPORT Welcome to The Hill’s Coronavirus Report. It’s Wednesday, July 1.
A prominent politician sent me a note this morning. It read: “A friend in #Hawaii told me only half jokingly that the state would be better off to allow travel channels to Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan for tourism and bar travel from the U.S. continent.” Our nation is now up to about 40,000 new cases of COVID-19 infections a day, and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci shared the sobering assessment in congressional testimony Tuesday that unless there is a course correction very soon, this number of new cases will swell up to 100,000 a day.
A friend who flew west yesterday on a United Airlines flight recounted to me how he saw many being purposely invasive in other people’s space and violated their efforts to distance. When standing in a Starbucks line at Washington Dulles Airport, a young person stood right behind him to the point where he could feel his breath. On the plane, many were pulling their masks under their chins, or not covering their noses. Some were mocking those with masks on snug and who were trying to socially distance themselves in the travel process.
This is not going well folks. And what it will produce — besides a lot of infections and many deaths — is that the economy may have a second seizure as it is frozen in fear of infections. It could result in those obsessed with hygienic safety having emotional clashes with those who seem to care little. We are seeing pugnacious ignorance threaten American society, and the data is tragically moving in the wrong direction.
Hopefully a vaccine, produced at huge scale, arrives earlier than many expect and helps save society so that the informed and the ignorant can continue to coexist, but that is a very thin string of near-term hope at this point.
— Steve Clemons
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THE HILL ‘VIRTUALLY’ LIVE
Tuesday, June 30, The Hill hosted a Pride month summit to discuss the fragility of civil rights in America today with a focus on the LGBTQ+ community. The forum focused on constructive paths forward, lessons learned from civil rights advances and recognized that there are an array of perspectives of how to prioritize effort and focus when it comes to securing and making civil rights a reality in our daily lives.
CLICK HERE to view the full program video, which will be posted shortly. And keep the conversation going using #TheHillVirtuallyLive and tweeting @TheHillEvents.
CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
There are 10,512,283 reported cases of COVID-19 throughout the world and 512,331 deaths as of the time of this newsletter.
The U.S. is reporting 2,638,338 cases and 127,485 deaths. Brazil 1,402,041. Russia 653,479. India 585,481. U.K. 314,991. Peru 285,213. Chile 279,393. Spain 249,271. Italy 240,578. Iran 230,211. Mexico 226,089. Pakistan 213,470. France 202,063.
Elsewhere throughout the world:
> In Czechia, thousands of Prague residents joined for a communal dinner on the iconic Charles Bridge as part of a “farewell party” to the pandemic. There are no clear signs the country has eradicated the virus.
> In Israel, the Health Ministry announced that it recorded 773 cases on Tuesday — the highest daily case count since the contagion first emerged in Israel.
> The Hebron region of the West Bank accounts for more than 80 percent of active virus cases in the territory, and the Palestinian Authority Health Ministry reported Wednesday that it had recorded 199 new cases.
New York is reporting 393,454 cases. California 232,275. New Jersey 171,667. Texas 163,060. Florida 152,434. Illinois 143,185. Massachusetts 108,882. Pennsylvania 91,139. Georgia 81,291. Arizona 79,228. Michigan 70,728. Maryland 67,918. North Carolina 65,327. Virginia 62,787. Louisiana 58,095. Ohio 51,789. Connecticut 46,514.
Here at home:
> Amid surging cases throughout the south and west, health officials are urging Americans to celebrate Independence Day at home this year.
> In 45 states, seven-day averages of new infections are higher than they were a week ago, according to a Washington Post analysis. Record-shattering numbers of new cases were also reported in six states — Texas, Arizona, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Idaho and Alaska — on Tuesday.
> Massachusetts reported zero coronavirus-related deaths Tuesday.
> Colorado on Tuesday became the latest state to order drinking establishments to close down once again, following the lead of Texas, Arizona and Florida.
The U.S. is reporting the results of 32,206,245 COVID-19 tests and 720,631 full recoveries from the virus.
Concerns about coronavirus highest since May: poll. Americans’ concerns about the coronavirus pandemic reached its highest level since May amid a recent surge in new cases in the U.S., according to a poll released Wednesday. A June 29-30 Reuters/Ipsos poll found 81 percent of American adults said they were “very” or “somewhat” concerned about COVID-19, the most since a similar poll was taken May 11-12. (The Hill)
Surgeon general urges widespread mask use: “It is not a suppression of your freedom.” Surgeon General Jerome Adams on Tuesday implored Americans, and young Americans in particular, to wear masks as lawmakers and public health officials increasingly seek to break down partisan barriers about the use of face coverings. (The Hill)
GOP leaders now say everyone should wear a mask as Trump refuses to do so in public. The last Republican vice president, Dick Cheney, and his Wyoming congresswoman daughter, Liz, say wearing masks is manly. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFormer HUD Secretary: Congress ‘should invest 0B in direct rental assistance’ OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House approves .5T green infrastructure plan | Rubio looks to defense bill to block offshore drilling, but some fear it creates a loophole | DC-area lawmakers push for analysis before federal agencies can be relocated House approves .5T green infrastructure plan MORE (R-Ky.) says there should be no stigma associated with covering one’s face as public health experts advise, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyMcCarthy calls on Pelosi to condemn ‘mob violence’ after toppling of St. Junipero Serra statue The Hill’s Coronavirus Report: Stagwell President Mark Penn says Trump is losing on fighting the virus; Fauci says U.S. ‘going in the wrong direction’ in fight against virus Cheney clashes with Trump MORE (R-Calif.) says doing so is essential to fully reopening the economy. And even Sean HannitySean Patrick HannityThe Hill’s Coronavirus Report: Stagwell President Mark Penn says Trump is losing on fighting the virus; Fauci says U.S. ‘going in the wrong direction’ in fight against virus Trump dings CNN, ‘Morning Joe’ ratings as Tucker Carlson sets record The Hill’s Morning Report – Republicans shift, urge people to wear masks MORE and Steve Doocy, two of Trump’s most fervent and loyal boosters on Fox News Channel, have joined the chorus of mask advocates. (Washington Post)
Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioJennifer Aniston urges fans to ‘wear a damn mask:’ ‘It really shouldn’t be a debate’ OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House approves .5T green infrastructure plan | Rubio looks to defense bill to block offshore drilling, but some fear it creates a loophole | DC-area lawmakers push for analysis before federal agencies can be relocated The Hill’s Coronavirus Report: Stagwell President Mark Penn says Trump is losing on fighting the virus; Fauci says U.S. ‘going in the wrong direction’ in fight against virus MORE (R-Fla.)
@marcorubio Three months into the pandemic we now have enough data to say with a high degree of confidence that no one has died from wearing a mask in public.
Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenThe Hill’s Coronavirus Report: Stagwell President Mark Penn says Trump is losing on fighting the virus; Fauci says U.S. ‘going in the wrong direction’ in fight against virus Senate passes extension of application deadline for PPP small-business loans Overnight Defense: Lawmakers demand answers on reported Russian bounties for US troops deaths in Afghanistan | Defense bill amendments target Germany withdrawal, Pentagon program giving weapons to police MORE (D-N.H.)
@SenatorShaheen Haphazard deliveries from @FEMA fall far short of the support that our long term care facilities need. Nursing homes are caring for the most vulnerable to COVID-19. How long is it going to take for the Trump administration to get this right?
Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill’s Coronavirus Report: Stagwell President Mark Penn says Trump is losing on fighting the virus; Fauci says U.S. ‘going in the wrong direction’ in fight against virus GOP senators debate replacing Columbus Day with Juneteenth as a federal holiday Senate passes extension of application deadline for PPP small-business loans MORE (R-Maine)
@SenatorCollins I questioned Dr. Fauci about pool testing, an efficient, cost-effective way to help communities safely reopen. This strategy could help schools identify the presence of COVID-19 & protect students, teachers, staff, & other employees.
ACROSS THE NATION
“Celebrate at home”: Health officials make a plea for the holiday amid record cases in the U.S. Health officials are urging Americans to scale back Independence Day plans after virus case levels reached disheartening new highs on Tuesday, with eight states setting single-day reporting records. The Oregon Health Authority warned that “the safest choice this holiday is to celebrate at home.” Elsewhere, the pleas were similar: Skip the party. Stay home. Don’t make a bad situation worse. (New York Times)
DeSantis says Florida “not going back” on reopening as COVID-19. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisThe Hill’s Campaign Report: Colorado, Utah primary results bring upsets, intrigue The Hill’s Coronavirus Report: Stagwell President Mark Penn says Trump is losing on fighting the virus; Fauci says U.S. ‘going in the wrong direction’ in fight against virus Paul Krugman ripped for saying COVID-19 ‘coming for white supremacists’ in golf carts MORE (R) said Tuesday that his state is “not going back” on reopening as thousands of new COVID-19 cases continue to be reported every day. DeSantis told reporters that the state will not follow Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) move to pause reopening, according to Axios. (The Hill)
Virginia orders bars to remain closed as it prepares to enter phase three of reopening. Bar areas inside Virginia restaurants and taverns will not join the state’s next phase of reopening Wednesday, Gov. Ralph Northam said, a reversal in policy that followed Delaware’s decision to shut down recently reopened bars in beach communities. (Washington Post)
Czechs hold “farewell party” for pandemic. The World Health Organization warned this week that the pandemic was not even close to being over, but in the Czech Republic, a party has been held to give the coronavirus a “symbolic farewell.” Thousands of guests sat at a 500-meter-long table on the Charles Bridge in Prague on Tuesday sharing food and drinks they had brought from home. Guests were encouraged to share with their neighbors and there was no social distancing, something people in countries under lockdown will find hard to relate to. (BBC)
Some Canadian businesses want to let Americans back in. Most Canadians don’t. As restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus drag into a fourth month, some Candian business operators are pushing officials to consider ways to let at least some tourists in. Amid a general sense here that Canada has handled the coronavirus better than the United States, Prime Minister Justin TrudeauJustin Pierre James TrudeauHispanic Caucus asks Trump to rescind invitation to Mexican president The Hill’s Coronavirus Report: Stagwell President Mark Penn says Trump is losing on fighting the virus; Fauci says U.S. ‘going in the wrong direction’ in fight against virus Trump insulted UK’s May, called Germany’s Merkel ‘stupid’ in calls: report MORE said in June there was “broad consensus” among provincial leaders to keep current measures along the 5,500-mile frontier in place. (Washington Post)
COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech shows positive results. An experimental COVID-19 vaccine being developed by the drug giant Pfizer and the biotech firm BioNTech spurred immune responses in healthy patients, but also caused fever and other side effects, especially at higher doses. (CNBC)
Accuracy of coronavirus tests questions after PGA golfer tests positive, then negative. Professional U.S. golfer Cameron Champ immediately withdrew from the PGA Tour’s Travelers Championship last Tuesday and announced plans to self-quarantine for 14 days after testing positive for the coronavirus. Five days later, he said he tested negative — three times — raising questions about the accuracy of the tests that are being used by professional sports to screen players before big ticket events and games. (CNBC)
Senate passes extension of application deadline for PPP small-business loans. The Senate on Tuesday cleared legislation to extend the deadline for businesses to apply for coronavirus aid under the Paycheck Protection Program, which was to expire at the end of Tuesday. Under the bill passed by the Senate by unanimous consent, the deadline for applying for PPP loans — which go to businesses with fewer than 500 employees — would be extended until Aug. 8. There’s approximately $130 billion in unspent money under the Paycheck Protection Program, which has prompted a discussion among lawmakers about what to do with the funds. (The Hill)
Stocks open up on ADP jobs report. Stock markets rose Wednesday after ADP reported an increase in jobs for June. ADP Research Institute and Moody’s Analytics reported that private nonfarm businesses added 2.4 million new jobs in June. Of those, almost 1.9 million were in the service sector, which had seen steep losses due to the coronavirus pandemic. (The Hill)
United to add roughly 25,000 flights in August. United Airlines on Wednesday announced that it is adding nearly 25,000 domestic and international flights to its August schedule, which will be triple the size of its June schedule. It plans to add more than 600 daily domestic flights next month, including 350 more daily flights from its hubs, and double the number of flights it runs out of Newark compared to the July schedule. The airline’s planned August domestic schedule would still be only 48 percent of its August 2019 schedule. (The Hill)
ISSUES, CAUSES, PASSIONS
President Trump should wear a mask. I wear a mask, and I believe the president of the United States should wear one too. Not entirely to protect those around him, as he is tested for COVID-19 several times a week, and it is doubtful that he has it, but as a symbol of leadership, we are all in this together. It isn’t clear whether it is the masks that protect Asian societies that wear them regularly, or whether it is the physical distancing or the culture that goes along with it. Still, either way, a mask is an essential part of the pandemic picture. (Dr. Marc Siegel for The Hill)
Health disparity crisis: Insulin prices and COVID-19. As U.S. citizens’ financial outlooks remain in question, the cost of health care becomes highlighted once again and places an even more disproportionate burden on racial and ethnic minorities. With over 48 percent of Americans taking at least one prescription medication, and almost 1-in-4 people taking three or more medications per month, the cost of medications may soon become the next public health crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic. (K. Ashley Garling for The Hill)
Here comes the sun? Ringo Starr to stream his 80th birthday celebration online. Former Beatle Ringo Starr announced that he will stream his 80th birthday online. Paul McCartney will stop by, and there will be at-home performances and rare concert footage from Kenny Loggins, Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson and others. (TODAY)
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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