The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump invokes defense law to bolster coronavirus response

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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 invokes defense law to bolster coronavirus response | GOP divided on stimulus | Trump vows to help out-of-work Americans | US, Canada border closed to nonessential traffic | Sanders 'assessing' campaign after Tuesday losses | Key takeaways from primary night | How campaigns are adapting to outbreak | Google, Netflix let groups create group viewing feature

 

NEWS OF THE MORNING

Ramp it up:

Via The Hill’s Jessie Hellman, 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 just announced he will invoke the Defense Production Act that would require the production of medical supplies that are in short supply. http://bit.ly/2TXFbbM

Trump told reporters: “It can do a lot of good things if we need it.” 

Details: “Many health workers have said they are quickly running out of personal protective equipment, like masks and gowns, that are crucial to ensuring they don’t get sick. Hospitals are also sounding the alarm on the lack of ventilators, or breathing machines, that are expected to be in high demand as the coronavirus spreads in the coming weeks and months.”

Happening now — Livestream of the White House’s daily coronavirus briefing: http://bit.ly/2w8IF2b

 

And Trump ordered the suspension of HUD evictions and foreclosures:

President Trump just directed the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to halt any evictions or foreclosures through April. 

In Trump’s words: "The Department of Housing and Urban Development is providing immediate relief to renters and homeowners by suspending all foreclosures and evictions until the end of April. So we’re working very closely with Dr. Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonCOVID-19 makes Trump's work with black Americans that much harder Sunday shows preview: Congress spars over next round of coronavirus relief; GOP seeks offensive after news of Flynn 'unmasking' On The Money: Small business loan program out of money | Lawmakers at impasse over new funds | Senate adjourns for week with no deal | Trump to leave decision on reopening economies with governors MORE and everybody from HUD."

 

Everyone is so sorrey about this:

The U.S.-Canadian border is closing for nonessential traffic amid the coronavirus outbreak. http://bit.ly/3b259jS

President Trump tweeted: "We will be, by mutual consent, temporarily closing our Northern Border with Canada to non-essential traffic. Trade will not be affected. Details to follow!" http://bit.ly/2xMmLlz

For context: The U.S. has more than 6,500 cases of coronavirus, and Canada has roughly 600 cases.

 

It's Wednesday of this weird week. 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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IN CONGRESS

GOP divided on how to help:

Via The Hill's Alexander Bolton, Senate Republicans are split on how to structure an economic stimulus amid the coronavirus outbreak, which could slow down getting a relief bill to President Trump's desk. http://bit.ly/3daloNS

Where Republicans are divided: "Republicans disagree over fundamental questions such as whether to make direct payments to Americans who miss paychecks because of the crisis or to all adults in a bid to boost the economy more generally. They're also split on whether economic aid should be delivered primarily through unemployment benefits for workers who miss time or lose their jobs or whether economic aid should go directly to businesses in the form of loans or payroll tax reductions."

And an airline industry bailout is controversial: "Another contentious topic is how to help the airline industry, which has requested a $50 billion bailout. President Trump and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin favor a generous economic assistance package but GOP lawmakers are calling for loans instead of direct payments." 

How this could shake out: http://bit.ly/3daloNS

 

THE LATEST ON THE PLAN FOR CASH ASSISTANCE FOR AMERICANS:

http://bit.ly/2UjddGi

  

WHERE WE STAND NOW

How many cases worldwide?: The number of cases hit 200,000 this morning. http://bit.ly/2QqKlem

What we know about the 112 people who have died in the U.S.: Here are the stats and information we know about the coronavirus deaths in the U.S.: https://cnn.it/2Wvju4i

Oil prices are at a low: U.S. oil prices reached their lowest point since 2003: http://bit.ly/2Wp6Unu

  

IN THE WHITE HOUSE

Trump promises to help out-of-work Americans:

President Trump tweeted this morning, "For the people that are now out of work because of the important and necessary containment policies, for instance the shutting down of hotels, bars and restaurants, money will soon be coming to you. The onslaught of the Chinese Virus is not your fault! Will be stronger than ever!" http://bit.ly/2IYKzFo

 

Walking the tightrope:

Via The Hill's Morgan Chalfant and Brett Samuels, "Dr. Anthony Fauci has become one of the most important public figures in Washington amid a coronavirus pandemic that is quickly changing American life." http://bit.ly/391Bar9

How so: "At briefing after briefing, Fauci takes a factual, no-nonsense approach -- one that at times has created a dissonance with President Trump, who in the past has clashed with officials who have publicly contradicted him. There appears to be little if any friction, however, between Trump and Fauci, who has avoided direct criticism of the president and earned plaudits from members of both parties for conveying a sense of control in a crisis." 

  

TIDBITS ELSEWHERE

How to have a movie night with friends: Google Chrome and Netflix have teamed up to create an extension to allow people to watch the same movie from different locations. How it works: https://abc11.tv/3dcCSZM

A few grocery stores are reserving time for the elderly to shop: https://cbsn.ws/2UfFy0h

If you have been seeing mentions of avoiding buying WIC products: A viral tweet urged people not to buy products with a WIC label next to the shelf price. Why: "People who use WIC to feed their kids can't switch to another brand or kind of food. If a store runs out of WIC-approved options, they will go home empty-handed." Background: The WIC program is run by the Department of Agriculture to help provide low-income families with food. http://bit.ly/3b4zAWF

Hahaha, this is amazing: Actress Kristen Bell reposted a funny video about how parents are dealing with their children being home. Watchhttp://bit.ly/2wkP4qO

 

This is pretty cool:

Watch: http://bit.ly/3a2x7fh

Helpful Q&A: How to properly wash your hands, including the best soap to use and how to dry them in the most sanitary way: https://nyti.ms/3dbMjsw

Op-ed: On whether people have the right to anonymity as a coronavirus carrier: http://bit.ly/3daDhfu

  

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL

The infamous '[insert candidate name here] is assessing his/her campaign':

This morning, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren to host high-dollar fundraiser for Biden Julián Castro to become senior advisor for Voto Latino It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE's (I-Vt.) campaign manager Faiz Shakir said Sanders is taking some time to "assess his campaign" after handedly losing yesterday in Arizona, Florida and Illinois. http://bit.ly/39YFmJy

From Sanders's campaign manager: "The next primary contest is three weeks away. Sen. Sanders is going to be having conversations with his supporters to assess his campaign. In the immediate term, however, he is focused on the government response to the coronavirus outbreak and ensuring that we take care of working people and the most vulnerable." 

 

HOW BIDEN SUBDUED SANDERS AMID THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK: 

Via The Hill's Niall Stanage: http://bit.ly/390CwCz

 

FIVE TAKEAWAYS FROM LAST NIGHT'S PRIMARIES:

  1. Biden is the likely Democratic nominee
  2. Biden is winning by huge margins
  3. Sanders will face pressure to drop out
  4. Coronavirus is impacting turnout
  5. States face tough decisions about future primary elections

Context and details for each: http://bit.ly/3daiZTm

 

INTERESTING READ -- HOW CAMPAIGNS ARE ADAPTING TO THE CORONAVIRUS:

Via The Hill's Julia Manchester and Juliegrace Brufke: http://bit.ly/2U0g2wZ

  

NOTABLE TWEETS

Yikes:

Watch: http://bit.ly/3a12siF

  

ON TAP

The Senate is in. The House is out. President Trump and Vice President Pence are in Washington, D.C.

9 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence led a White House Coronavirus Task Force meeting in the Situation Room.

10 a.m. EDT: The Senate met. The Senate's full schedule today: http://bit.ly/2UkUYQM

10 a.m. EDT: President Trump held a phone call with airline executives.

10:45 a.m. EDT: President Trump participated in the Business Roundtable Quarterly Meeting teleconference.

1:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump is holding a call with physicians.

3:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump participates in a briefing with nurses.

 

WHAT TO WATCH

11:30 a.m. EDT: The Coronavirus Task Force held a press briefing. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2zl0CZY

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Today is National Lacy Oatmeal Cookie Day.

 

And to lighten the mood a bit, here's one of the weirdest parts of being home during the day: seeing what your dogs actually do when you leave: http://bit.ly/3acMjqc