The Hill's 12:30 Report: US braces for 'hardest' week yet

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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: Health watchdog warns of 'severe' shortages of hospital supplies | Surgeon general fears 'hardest' week ahead | Coronavirus task force divided over malaria drug | Trump promotes use: 'I'm not a doctor, but I have common sense’ | Trump lashes out at media | Dems struggle with virus messaging



Getting traction — an outburst in the White House:

Via Axios’s Jonathan Swan, White House economic adviser Peter Navarro got into a fight with the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony FauciAnthony FauciFauci: Nominating conventions may be able to go on as planned The battle of COVID in the 'quiet war' on China Dolphins owner: 'We're planning to have fans in the stadium' MORE over the weekend during a Coronavirus Task Force meeting.

The issue: Whether the Trump administration should recommend the use of an antimalarial drug to help fight the coronavirus. Fauci has stressed that any evidence that the antimalarial drug helps with COVID-19 is purely anecdotal.

“Fauci's mention of anecdotal evidence ‘just set Peter off,’ said one of the sources. Navarro pointed to the pile of folders on the desk, which included printouts of studies on hydroxychloroquine from around the world.” 

The full back and forth — it sounds pretty tense:



President TrumpDonald John TrumpJustice says it will recommend Trump veto FISA bill Fauci: Nominating conventions may be able to go on as planned Poll: Biden leads Trump by 11 points nationally MORE touted the use of hydroxychloroquine to prevent or treat COVID-19, even though it puts him at odds with some of his top health advisers.

In Trump’s words: "What do you have to lose? I’m not looking at it one way or another. But we want to get out of this. If it does work, it would be a shame if we didn’t do it early … What do I know? I'm not a doctor. But I have common sense." 

Meanwhile from Fauci: "The data are really just at best suggestive,” Fauci said yesterday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “There have been cases that show there may be an effect, and there are others to show there's no effect. So, I think in terms of science, I don't think we could definitively say it works."


This morning — Trump lashes out at a familiar foe:

President Trump slammed media outlets over their coverage of the outbreak.

He tweeted: “Advertising in the Failing New York Times is WAY down. Washington Post is not much better. I can’t say whether this is because they are Fake News sources of information, to a level that few can understand, or the Virus is just plain beating them up. Fake News is bad for America!”


It’s Monday. 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 — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

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Stocks rose:

Via The Hill’s Sylvan Lane, the stock market surged this morning amid small signs of optimism in the coronavirus outbreak.

The numbers: “The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained more than 1,000 points as the market opened, rising nearly 5 percent after a week of heavy losses. The S&P 500 rose 4.6 percent and the Nasdaq composite rose 4.5 percent.”  



This is an incredibly sad and scary quote:

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams told Americans over the weekend to expect a tough week.

In his words: “This is going to be the hardest and the saddest week of most Americans’ lives. This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment, only it’s not going to be localized; it’s going to be happening all over the country.” 

The optimistic news: Adams said there "is a light at the end of the tunnel if everyone does their part for the next 30 days ...  There is hope, but we’ve also got to all do our part.” 



Cases in the U.S.: 337,971

Deaths in the U.S.: 9,655

Breakdown — here’s a helpful chart from The New York Times:


What we know about the hospital shortages:

According to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Inspector General, hospitals are facing “severe” shortages of tests and “widespread” shortages of protective equipment.





Congressional Democrats are in a tough spot:

Via The Hill’s Scott Wong, “Congressional Democrats are facing enormous pressure to show voters they are staying engaged and taking action to combat the deadly coronavirus pandemic during a critical election year.”

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMcCarthy urges Democrats to pull surveillance bill The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Major space launch today; Trump feuds with Twitter How lawmaker ties helped shape Fed chairman's COVID-19 response MORE (D-Calif.): “[Pelosi] has launched a new special House committee to oversee trillions of dollars in emergency spending, while other top Democrats are pushing legislation to create a separate 9/11-style commission looking into whether the government properly responded to the outbreak.” 

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerThe Democrats' out-party advantage in 2020 Democratic leaders say Trump testing strategy is 'to deny the truth' about lack of supplies Trump slams Sessions: 'You had no courage & ruined many lives' MORE (D-N.Y.): “[Schumer] is aggressively pressing President Trump to appoint a ‘czar’ to oversee the production and distribution of coronavirus-related medical supplies — a move that has rankled the president.” 

Other Dems: “Rank-and-file Democrats are getting creative to make sure their constituents know they are working on the crisis — even as they hunker down with their families at home.” 

What to expect:





Well played:


Come on, Annie! You can do it:




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

11 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence led a video teleconference with governors. 

12:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump and Vice President Pence have lunch together.

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



This morning: New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Major space launch today; Trump feuds with Twitter On The Money: McConnell: Talking about fifth coronavirus bill 'in next month or so' | Boosted unemployment benefits on the chopping block | Women suffering steeper job losses from COVID-19 Overnight Health Care: US braces for COVID-19 'slow burn' | Packed crowds spark pandemic alarms as states reopen | White House announces move to cap insulin costs for seniors MORE (D) gave an update on the coronavirus outbreak in the state. Livestream:

5 p.m. EDT: The White House Coronavirus Task Force holds a press briefing. Livestream:



Today is National Caramel Popcorn Day.


Free Nikon photography classes in April!:

Via The Verge, Nikon is offering free photography classes, normally priced between $15 to $50 each, through April 30.

What to know about the classes: “Each class is taught by a professional photographer and provides in-depth lessons to help you get better at taking photos. Some courses cover Nikon-specific products, but many of them teach you the fundamentals of photography, such as a course that teaches you how to photograph your children or pets or the basics of making a music video.” 


And to brighten your Monday, here’s a dog who is legitimately a good volleyball player: