The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump signs $8.3B coronavirus package as number of cases grows

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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.

 

The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump signs $8.3B coronavirus funding package | Trump to visit CDC today | Confusion after trip initially canceled | Airlines, cruise ships update cancellation policies | Economy adds 273K jobs in strong February | Biden is expected to make big gains in next primaries | Why Florida is big trouble for Sanders | Warren's dog Bailey goes viral after stealing burrito | 'Hocus Pocus 2' in the works | National Oreo Day

 

LATEST WITH THE CORONAVIRUS

Signed, sealed, delivered

It's yours:

This morning, President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden slams Trump in new ad: 'The death toll is still rising.' 'The president is playing golf' Brazil surpasses Russia with second-highest coronavirus case count in the world Trump slams Sessions: 'You had no courage & ruined many lives' MORE signed an $8.3 billion bill in emergency funding to fight the coronavirus outbreak. http://bit.ly/32W

Tidbit about the president's signing ceremony: "Trump was originally expected to sign the bill at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta on Friday but abruptly canceled his trip there. He told reporters Friday morning that the trip was canceled because of a suspected coronavirus case at the CDC itself but that it turned out to be negative. The president said he may still visit the headquarters."

 

^UPDATE -- TRUMP IS BACK TO VISITING THE CDC: 

President Trump will visit the CDC in Atlanta this afternoon after the White House initially canceled the trip. http://bit.ly/32XGgDl

 

New insight -- What to know about the coronavirus mortality rate:

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) made a startling pronouncement by estimating the global mortality rate for the coronavirus as 3.4 percent. Yeah, but: Experts expect that number to drop as untested "mild cases" are counted. http://bit.ly/39Gp5sg 

 

IF YOU HAVE A FLIGHT COMING UP:

Here's a list of the updated cancelation policies for each major airline: https://on.today.com/38tQigo

 

IF YOU HAVE A CRUISE BOOKED:

Here's a list of the updated cancelation policies for each major cruise line -- plus a list of restrictions: https://on.today.com/2TscK5k

 

Happy Friday! I'm Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what's coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to cmartel@thehill.com -- and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

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PROGRAMMING NOTE: The Hill's 12:30 Report will be off next week! It will return on Monday, March 16. Enjoy the week and don't forget to celebrate "National Potato Chip Day" on March 14! ;)

  

NEWS THIS MORNING

That's a monster jobs report:

The U.S. economy adding an astonishing 273,000 jobs in February amid fears of coronavirus. http://bit.ly/2PQS8ll

For context -- what economists predicted: 170,000 jobs would be added in February. "The strong February jobs report indicates a greater level of strength in a labor market that has steadily added jobs for more than a decade."

The unemployment rate: "The unemployment rate ticked down 0.1 percentage points to 3.5 percent while the labor force participation rate held steady at 63.4 percent." 

  

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL

Aiiight, what's next after Super Tuesday:

Via The Hill's Niall Stanage, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden slams Trump in new ad: 'The death toll is still rising.' 'The president is playing golf' Warren to host high-dollar fundraiser for Biden COVID-19 makes Trump's work with black Americans that much harder MORE is poised for big gains in the next two waves of primaries. http://bit.ly/2PRZ813

 

WHAT'S NEXT:

March 10: Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota caucus and Washington state

March 17: Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Ohio. 

Note: Florida has the most delegates at stake coming up, with 219. 

 

THE PROBLEM FOR BERNIE SANDERS:

"The problem for Sanders is simple: when it comes to the big states, he is the clear favorite in only one, Washington. Florida, by contrast, looks like it could be a near-catastrophe for Sanders." 

Why Florida could be bad for Bernie: "There are general demographics in Florida that favor Biden at Sanders's expense, including an electorate that skews older, and a significant black population. African-American voters cast 27 percent of the ballots in the 2016 primary, according to exit polls. But the scale of Biden's advantage in Florida could also be amplified by renewed focus on Sanders' comments about former Cuban president Fidel Castro."

  

Easily the best video I've seen in the past month:

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren to host high-dollar fundraiser for Biden It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers demand answers on Chinese COVID hacks | Biden re-ups criticism of Amazon | House Dem bill seeks to limit microtargeting MORE's (D-Mass.) dog Bailey stole a burrito and wouldn't give it up. 

Watch: http://bit.ly/2VQnNa4

@darth makes an excellent point here: "just a tip if u are trying to get half a burrito out of a dogs mouth the trick is to have another, whole burrito to give the pup instead they will immediately let go trust me this works. give bailey another burrito is what i am saying here" http://bit.ly/3avubYw

  

NOTABLE TWEETS

Oh dear. This is BAD:

 

Watch: http://bit.ly/3azBles

 

Hahaha:

 

ON TAP

The House and Senate are out. President Trump will be in Nashville, Atlanta and Palm Beach, Fla. today. Vice President Pence is in Washington, D.C.

10:55 a.m. EST: President Trump landed in Nashville.

2 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence leads a White House Coronavirus Task Force meeting in the Situation Room.

4 p.m. EST: President Trump visits the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

2:30 p.m. EST: President Trump leaves for Palm Beach, Fla.

4:35 p.m. EST: President Trump arrives at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla.

8:15 p.m. EST: President Trump holds a roundtable with supporters.

8:45 p.m. EST: President Trump delivers remarks at a joint fundraising committee dinner.

 

WHAT TO WATCH

3 p.m. EST: The Coronavirus Task Force holds a press briefing. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2IrxvI4

  

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Today is National Oreo Day!

 

"I'll put a spell on you

and now you'll make 'Hocus Pocus 2'":

Via Variety's Justin Kroll, a sequel to the 1993 film 'Hocus Pocus' is in the works for Disney+. http://bit.ly/2wBGaoE

What about the cast?: "The original 'Hocus Pocus' cast members are not attached to the sequel, but Disney is hopeful that they will become involved in some capacity. Sources say that ideally the trio of actresses will reprise their roles, rather than having to completely reboot the first film." 

 

And because you made it this far, here's an intense fight between a puppy and a balloon: http://bit.ly/32XUHaE