The Hill's 12:30 Report: Fauci testifies, discusses students returning in August

To view past editions of The Hill's 12:30 Report, click here:

To receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox, please sign up here:

--> 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: Fauci testifies | Discusses students returning in August | Warns of reopening too early | Sen. Alexander’s dog barks in the background | Pence, Trump to keep distance after Pence aide tests positive | 8 provisions on Dems’ relief wish list | What to know about the COVID-19 vaccine | ‘Hamilton’ debuts on Disney Plus in July



When the Senate hearing looks identical to a family Zoom session — dogs barking and all:



Members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force are testifying in a Senate hearing this morning to discuss the situation and response to the coronavirus — as well as reopening the country.  

Hearing livestream


Fauci on whether schools can reopen in the fall: “The idea of having treatments available or a vaccine to facilitate the re-entry of students into the fall term would be something that would be a bit of a bridge too far.” Watch 

Fauci on reopening too quickly:  “My concern is that if some areas, city, states, or what have you, jump over those various checkpoints, and prematurely open up without having the capability of being able to respond effectively and efficiently, my concern is that we will start to see little spikes that might turn into outbreaks … The consequences could be really serious.”

Fauci on whether the virus could disappear: “That is just not going to happen.”

Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayCOVID-19 workplace complaints surge; unions rip administration Lack of child care poses major hurdle as businesses reopen Democratic leaders say Trump testing strategy is 'to deny the truth' about lack of supplies MORE (D-Wash.) on President TrumpDonald John TrumpMichael Flynn transcripts reveal plenty except crime or collusion 50 people arrested in Minneapolis as hundreds more National Guard troops deployed Missouri state lawmaker sparks backlash by tweeting 'looters deserve to be shot' MORE: "Truth is essential so people have the facts, so they can make decisions for themselves and their families and their communities. Lives are at stake. If the President isn't telling the truth, we must and our witnesses must. And we're counting on you today."


Lol — please add to the record: “Chairman @SenAlexander’s dog Rufus is using his minutes it would seem for well placed barking.” 

I get it: Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Stephen Hahn blurred his background. Photo

Spotted — hey, pup!: Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderSenate GOP chairman criticizes Trump withdrawal from WHO Trump: US 'terminating' relationship with WHO Soured on Fox, Trump may be seeking new propaganda outlet MORE (R-Tenn.), who is self-quarantining at home, is testifying by video. The Washington Post’s Seung Min Kim pointed out that Alexander’s dog Rufus is spotted in the background. Photo

Because I love looking at everyone’s backdrops: I would call Sen. Alexander’s backdrop “rustic chic.” Photo

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Defense: Trump extends deployment of National Guard troops to aid with coronavirus response | Pentagon considers reducing quarantine to 10 days | Lawmakers push for removal of Nazi headstones from VA cemeteries Don't move the COVID-19 goalpost Overnight Health Care: Sewage testing gives clues of coronavirus | White House says Trump would take hydroxychloroquine again | Trump marks 'very sad milestone' of 100K virus deaths MORE has A LOT of books

These images are pretty surreal — what a hearing looks like these days


Full size photos






Throwback: “You've seen [Fauci testify in Congress 57 times on C-SPAN. 

First: July 1, 1986, AIDS drug development.”  Via C-SPAN’s Howard Mortman. Watch a short clip from 1986 — he hasn’t changed much!

It’s Tuesday.  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.

Did someone forward this to you? Want your own copy? Sign up here to receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox daily:


Trump and Pence are keeping their distance:

Via The Hill’s Brett SamuelsVice President Pence is distancing himself from President Trump out of an abundance of caution after one of Pence’s aides tested positive for the coronavirus.


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 1,351,200 

Deaths in the U.S.: 80,897 

Breakdown of the numbers

What you need to know about the coronavirus vaccine:

Via The Hill’s Peter Sullivan, “There are more than 100 potential vaccine candidates, according to the World Health Organization, but only eight have entered the crucial clinical trials stage. Four are in the United States and Europe, with the rest in China.”

When will life go back to normal?: Experts say that having an effective vaccine widely available is key to returning to our normal lives.  

Potential timing for a vaccine: “Some researchers involved in the process say that in a best-case scenario, the first doses of a vaccine could be ready in September or October -- far faster than any vaccine has ever been developed. The process usually takes years.”  

How this vaccine development is different than most: “New technologies are helping speed the process along at a rate much faster than the traditional method of giving someone a weakened version of the virus. For example, new technology uses RNA or DNA to code for a part of the virus to trigger an immune response that offers protection. But that technology has never been used on a wide scale for an approved vaccine, adding to the uncertainty.” 

Here's a guide to the vaccines that have started clinical trials


Let’s talk money:

Via The Hill’s John Kruzel, The Supreme Court is hearing one of the most politically charged cases of the term over President Trump’s efforts to block access to his financial records and tax returns. 

The gist of the dispute: “Trump contends that the broad powers he enjoys as the country’s chief executive invalidate subpoenas issued by House Democrats and a New York grand jury, and even bar access to a third-party paper trail of his financial dealings from before he entered office.” 

Why this case is so significant: “The pair of overlapping cases will thrust the court into the political spotlight, and could see the justices fundamentally alter the balance of power between Congress and the White House, as well as determine whether Trump can be implicated in a New York state criminal probe, just months ahead of the 2020 vote.”  

^ Keep in mind: “A consequential ruling before Election Day would likely send political shockwaves through the country and could make control over future Supreme Court vacancies a more salient issue at the ballot box.”



The National Constitution Center is holding a panel discussion on the case. Livestream


This is his fight song:

Via The Hill’s Niall Stanage, “The United States is not getting back to normal anytime soon — and the impact on the 2020 presidential election will be profound. In the early days of the coronavirus crisis, a disoriented nation took some solace in the idea that the massive disruption might at least be short-lived. This looks implausible now, even as many states move toward reopening their economies.” 

What this could mean for Trump: “Trump and his allies have claimed to see blazing lights at the end of a short tunnel. But critics say that is a mirage.” 

How this could play out


Democrats’ wish list:

House Democrats are moving forward with another mammoth relief bill to help with the coronavirus outbreak. 

Yes, but: “With House Democrats taking the first crack at this latest round of relief — without any GOP input — the proposal is expected to feature a host of additional provisions, excluded from earlier bills, to act as a values statement heading into negotiations with Republicans in the Senate and White House. And Pelosi is urging Democrats not to be shy about their suggested add-ons.”


  1. State and local help
  2. Rent and mortgage assistance
  3. Cash payments
  4. Help for workers and businesses
  5. Broadband
  6. Testing, tracing, treatment
  7. Postal service
  8. Nutrition programs

Details for each 







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

Noon: President Trump received an intelligence briefing.

Noon: A cloture vote in the Senate. The Senate’s full schedule today

12:30 p.m. EDT: Senators meet for weekly caucus meetings. 

2:15 p.m. EDT: Another roll call vote in the Senate. 

2:30 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence leads a White House Coronavirus Task Force meeting. 

4 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with Republican senators.


10 a.m. EDT: Member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force testify before the Senate Health Committee on reopening the country. Livestream  

2 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany holds a press briefing. Livestream


Today is National Nutty Fudge Day.

‘Hamilton’ will be on Disney Plus!:

Via Variety’s Brent Lang, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit Broadway show ‘Hamilton’ will be released on Disney Plus on July 3. Details: 

When it had been scheduled to debut on Disney Plus: Oct. 15, 2021

And because you made it to the end, here’s a puppy making itself right at home: