12:30 Report

The Hill’s 12:30 Report — What we know about the monkeypox outbreak

This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a monkeypox virion, obtained from a sample associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak. On Wednesday, May 18, 2022, Massachusetts has reported a rare case of monkeypox in a man who recently had traveled to Canada, and investigators are looking into whether it is connected to recent cases in Europe. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP)

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–> A midday take on what’s happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.* 

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha–breaks down crying hysterically.


OK, so what’s the deal with monkeypox?:  

World health leaders are trying to contain an outbreak of monkeypox cases around the world.  

What is monkeypox?: A rare virus that gives patients rashes and a fever. CNBC explainer 

Are there monkeypox cases in the U.S.?: Yes, there are seven presumed cases of monkeypox in the U.S. Which states? Massachusetts, New York, Washington, Utah and Florida  

Anyone can get monkeypox, but the CDC says there are a notable number of cases among gay and bisexual men: The CDC’s John Brooks told CNN“Anyone, anyone, can develop [and] spread monkeypox infection, but … many of those affected in the current global outbreak identified as gay and bisexual men.”

What symptoms look like — from Brooks: “In some cases, during the early stages of illness, the rash has been mostly in the genital and perianal area. In some cases, it has produced anal or genital lesions that look like other diseases like herpes or chickenpox or syphilis.” What we know, via CNN 

Is there a vaccine?: Yes, smallpox vaccines can be used for monkeypox. The U.S. has stockpiled two Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved vaccines. NYT explainer on the stockpiled vaccines 

Will everyone need to get vaccinated?: No. “There is no need to vaccinate the general public against monkeypox, officials said. Rather, those vaccines will be used among a small number [of] people who have been exposed.” What the CDC is saying, via ABC News 

‘Why the Monkeypox Virus Is Not Like Covid-19’: Via The New York Times’s Knvul Sheikh 

The World Health Organization (WHO) said the outbreak is still ‘containable’ — But: “[WHO’s Sylvie Briand] said she has been monitoring the monkeypox virus for the past few years without a viral spread, so the recent spike in reported cases is alarming.”  More from The Hill

IT’S TUESDAY. I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Sign up here. 

🍑 Happening today 

Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, Texas and Minnesota are holding their primaries today ahead of the November midterms.  

Republicans are slowly…backing…away:

Via The Hill’s Niall Stanage, “President Trump and the MAGA movement are showing signs of moving in different directions. By no stretch of the imagination is Trump’s base deserting him. But nor are those voters willing to simply do his bidding.” 

How so — this year’s primaries have been a good measure: “In some important primaries this year, they have instead bucked his wishes — and they’re set to do it again. The dynamic looks like it will become starker on Tuesday, when primaries are held in Alabama, Arkansas and Georgia.”  

The race to watch: The Republican gubernatorial race in Georgia.  

The gist of that race: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) got on Trump’s bad side. He is running for reelection, so Trump endorsed his primary challenger: Former Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.). Kemp is still leading heavily in the polls, though.  

Other examples of this dynamic in today’s elections 


  1. ‘Can Trump evade a tough night in Georgia?’ Former President Trump has backed the challenger to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R), but Kemp has a big lead in the polls. 
  2. ‘Do voters stick with Trump on election fraud claims?’ The Georgia Secretary of State race will determine whether a Trump loyalist will be at the helm of Georgia’s elections. 
  3. ‘Do Democrats turn out in force?’ Republicans have an enthusiasm advantage. 
  4. ‘Can the left keep its winning streak going?’ Progressives have been winning over moderates. 
  5. ‘Does Mo Brooks outperform expectations?’ Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) was a favorite for the Senate race, but he has failed to gain traction. Trump even rescinded his endorsement.

Context and details for each from The Hill’s Max Greenwood 

Well, after serving as former President Trump’s White House press secretary, she may win the Republican nomination for Arkansas governor today. Quick primer on that race 

Here’s a list of gas prices across the U.S. today. 

In Congress 

That date is coming and quickly passing:

“Democrats are set to blow through the soft Memorial Day deadline for reaching a deal with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on a slimmed-down budget reconciliation bill to raise taxes, fight climate change and lower the cost of prescription drugs.”  

Could a deal be reached before Memorial Day?: That is not looking likely. But Democrats are already eyeing August recess as the next deadline. Once September — of an election year — hits, it will be nearly impossible to pass a big piece of legislation. 

What to expectvia The Hill’s Alexander Bolton 

Pelosi’s communion ban

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was recently barred by the archbishop of San Francisco from receiving communion because of her support of abortion rights. 

In an interview on MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’ today, Pelosi challenged the archbishop’s stance. “I wonder about the death penalty, which I am opposed to. So is the church, but they take no action against people who may not share their view.” 

Back story — this is not Pelosi’s first clash with this archbishop: “The Speaker is no stranger to clashes with Cordileone, a staunch conservative who has long denounced Pelosi’s support for abortion rights, same-sex marriage and other positions favored by liberals. His political views stirred some controversy during the coronavirus pandemic after he revealed in December that he was not vaccinated for COVID-19 and falsely claimed that the inoculation shots ‘are not really vaccines.’” More on the back and forth 

🦠 Latest with COVID 


Here are the graphics from The New York Times’s Denise Lu and Eleanor Lutz 


Cases to date: 83.1 million 

Death toll: 999,384 

Current hospitalizations: 13,329 

Shots administered: 584 million 

Fully vaccinated: 66.5 percent of Americans 

CDC data here. 

🐥Notable tweets 

The Rose Garden is looking beautiful

CNN’s Kate Bennett tweeted a photo of the roses in the Rose Garden on Monday.

Yikes, that is a massive tornado

@kentphotos tweeted a video of a tornado in Muleshoe, Texas. Watch — it has more than 80,000 views so far 

On tap

  • 10 a.m.: The House holds a pro forma session.  
  • 2:30 p.m.: A confirmation vote and a cloture vote in the Senate. Today’s Senate schedule 
  • 2:50 p.m.: Harris ceremonially swears in Alina L. Romanowski as U.S. ambassador to Iraq. 
  • 3:15 p.m.: Harris ceremonially swears in Deborah E. Lipstadt as special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism with the rank of ambassador. 
  • 7:20 p.m.: Harris speaks at the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies 20th Annual Awards Gala. 
  • 8:40 p.m.: Biden returns to the White House.
  • 1 p.m. Wednesday: The Hill is hosting a virtual event, “Advancing America’s Economy.” Featured speakers: Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), NEC deputy director David Kamin and Harvard Kennedy School’s Jason Furman.Details and RSVP

All times Eastern.

📺What to watch

  • Noon: A House Financial Services subcommittee is holding a hearing on long COVID-19. Livestream 
  • 1 p.m.: The Hill is hosting a virtual event, “Antibiotic Resistance: A Looming Public Health Crisis.” Featured speakers: Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-Ga.) and HHS Asst. Sec. Dawn O’Connell.Details and livestream

🐌 In lighter news 

Today is National Escargot Day

Narrator — That is not close to DC:

Via The Washington Post’s Sam Fortier, Laura Vozzella andAntonio Olivo, “The Washington Commanders recently acquired the right to purchase land in Woodbridge, Va., as a potential site for its new stadium, state Sen. Scott A. Surovell (D-Fairfax) said he was told Monday by a lobbyist for the team.” 

For context: “If the Commanders build a stadium in Woodbridge, it would be about 23 miles from the U.S. Capitol building. This would be nearly double the 11-mile distance from the U.S. Capitol to the team’s current stadium, FedEx Field in Landover, Md., and the third-farthest distance from a city center to a stadium in the National Football League.” What we know 

And before you leave, will you give this dog a compliment for me?

Tags 12:30 Report 12:30 Report Alabama Brian Kemp CDC economy Georgia Memorial Day Mo Brooks Monkeypox primaries Texas
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