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The Hill's 12:30 Report: Some good news on the vaccine front

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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: New ‘positive’ data on Moderna vaccine | Stocks soar | U.S. COVID-19 deaths near 90k | The Hill interviews Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinDemocrats justified in filibustering GOP, says Schumer Yellen provides signature for paper currency Biden's name will not appear on stimulus checks, White House says MORE | Everyday activities by risk level | FBI links Pensacola shooting with Al Qaeda | Fired State Dept. watchdog was investigating Pompeo | Senate churns out nominations before Memorial Day | German café gives customers pool noodle hats to socially distance | Penguins visit local art museum

 

NEWS THIS MORNING

Some good news on the vaccine front:

 

 

Via The Hill’s Peter Sullivan, Moderna, a biotech company working on a vaccine, is reporting “positive” data in an early clinical trial. https://bit.ly/2Zfw0Xl

Details: “The company said early data from a phase one clinical trial showed that people given the potential vaccine generated an immune response similar to that in people who had recovered from the disease. The levels of neutralizing antibodies were ‘at or above’ the levels seen in blood samples from people who have recovered from coronavirus, Moderna said in a statement.” 

Yes, but, “That early result is only from the first eight participants in the trial.”

Everything we know about the trialhttps://bit.ly/2Zfw0Xl

THE STOCK MARKET SOARED AFTER THAT NEWS:

After the news of a potential COVID-19 vaccine, “The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained more than 750 points as the market opened Monday, rising more than 3.2 percent. The S&P 500 rose 2.6 percent and the Nasdaq composite rose 1.8 percent.” https://bit.ly/3g6EjuD

INTERESTING READ:

Via Stat News’s Nicholas Florko and Damian Garde, “With remdesivir, Gilead finds itself at strategic crossroads, with its reputation (and far more) at stake.” https://bit.ly/3698M6B

The Pensacola shooter had ties to Al Qaeda:

Via The New York Times’s Katie Benner and Adam Goldman, the FBI has found evidence connecting the shooting in Pensacola, Fla., last year with al Qaeda. https://nyti.ms/2WG2Gr0 

Details: “The F.B.I. found that the gunman, Second Lt. Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, a Saudi Air Force cadet training with the American military, had communicated with a Qaeda operative who had encouraged the attacks, according to the two officials.”

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 cmartel@thehill.com  — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel  and  Facebook.

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HAPPENING THURSDAY

The Hill's Editor-in-Chief Bob CusackRobert (Bob) CusackThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Tensions rise as U.S. waits for Derek Chauvin verdict Key Democrat says traveler fees should fund infrastructure projects Trump legal switch hints at larger problems MORE is interviewing Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin this Thursday on efforts to reopen the U.S. economy. https://bit.ly/2ACrJCR

Details and how to RSVP for “A National Virtual Summit on Advancing the American Economy”https://bit.ly/3fZPLb4

WHERE THINGS STAND

Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 1,490,195

Deaths in the U.S.: 89,636

Breakdown of the numbershttps://cnn.it/2UAgW3y

HELPFUL LIST — HERE’S THE RISK LEVEL OF EVERYDAY ACTIVITIES:

For example, family gatherings, bars, religious functions and sporting events are at the highest risk. Indoor restaurants and hair salons are medium risk. Outdoor dining and retail shopping are relatively low risk. The full list, via Business Insiderhttps://bit.ly/2zMsucg

 

 

 

 

IN THE WHITE HOUSE

It’s Monday morning. Do you know what your president is tweeting?:

By the way, this is President TrumpDonald TrumpSt. Louis lawyer who pointed gun at Black Lives Matter protesters considering Senate run Chauvin found guilty as nation exhales US says Iran negotiations are 'positive' MORE’s pinned tweet right now.

 

Watch: https://bit.ly/3dXDMJr

New report — airing the dirty laundry, so to speak:

Via NBC’s Josh Lederman and Andrea Mitchell, “The State Department inspector general, [Steve Linick], who was removed from his job Friday was looking into whether Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoHouse passes legislation to elevate cybersecurity at the State Department The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - All US adults now eligible for COVID vaccines Parade of 2024 GOP hopefuls court House conservatives MORE made a staffer walk his dog, pick up his dry cleaning and make dinner reservations for Pompeo and his wife, among other personal errands, according to two congressional officials assigned to different committees.” https://nbcnews.to/3cMxZGo

HOW THE FIRING PUTS MIKE POMPEO’S ACTIONS UNDER SCRUTINY:

Via The New York Times’s Edward Wonghttps://nyti.ms/2ZeFaTP

THIS WEEK IN CONGRESS

Feeling productive before Memorial Day:

Via The Hill’s Jordain Carney, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell vents over 'fake news' The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Tensions rise as U.S. waits for Derek Chauvin verdict Trump looking 'beyond seriously' at 2024 run MORE (R-Ky.) is using this week to churn out votes on President Trump’s nominees before Memorial Day Weekend. https://bit.ly/3g0vGBD 

“McConnell vowed last month that the Senate would continue to vote on judicial nominees despite the coronavirus pandemic. Democrats have fumed over the GOP leader’s decision to bring the Senate back to Washington, D.C., without coronavirus-related items set for the floor. In addition to the judicial nominations, the Senate is also expected to vote on James Trainor III’s nomination to be a member of the Federal Election Commission.”  

Coronavirus: “Though House Democrats passed their fifth coronavirus bill last week, the Senate is not expected to take up legislation until at least June. Leadership in both parties told The Hill that they did not expect an agreement until next month.” 

Biden: “Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold Johnson15 Senate Republicans pledge to oppose lifting earmark ban 'Real Housewives of the GOP' — Wannabe reality show narcissists commandeer the party Republicans fret over divisive candidates MORE (R-Wis.) has scheduled a vote for Wednesday in the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on what, if he’s successful, would be the first subpoena in his months-long probe into Hunter Biden and Ukraine gas company Burisma Holdings ... Johnson has denied that his investigation is political, but he’s also argued that his findings — he has said he wants to release an interim report this summer — should be of interest to Democratic voters.”

Context and details for eachhttps://bit.ly/3g0vGBD

CRITICS SAY TRUMP AND CONGRESS ARE FUMBLING THE COVID-19 RESPONSE:

Via The Hill’s Mike Lillis, “Ten weeks after President Trump signed the first coronavirus relief bill into law, many economists, business groups, lawmakers and labor advocates contend the multitrillion-dollar response has been insufficient, misguided or both.” How sohttps://bit.ly/3cTZGgk

NOTABLE TWEETS:

Ahhh, the good old days:

 

 

Watch — this still makes me laugh out loudhttps://bit.ly/368Apg9

This is a lot:

 

 

Watchhttps://bit.ly/2yYLapd

ON TAP:

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

3 p.m. EDT: The Senate meets.

4 p.m. EDT: President Trump, first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpFox News's Bret Baier posts vaccination selfie The Memo: Specter of vaccine hesitancy rises after J&J blow Trump says Prince Philip's death an 'irreplaceable loss' for UK MORE and Vice President Pence participate in a teleconference with governors. 

5:30 p.m. EDT: The Senate holds a cloture vote on a nomination. Details and the Senate’s full schedule todayhttps://bit.ly/3dRsYwv

Wednesday, May 20: The Hill Virtually Live is hosting an event on our new digital reality. Accommodating the new normal means an increased reliance on telecommunication networks and an accelerated digitalization of industries. Yet, digital literacy is uneven, as is basic access to the internet. How should policymakers approach the goals of coverage, access, affordability and capacity? Featured speakers: Rep. Suzan DelBeneSuzan Kay DelBeneNIH reverses Trump administration's ban on fetal tissue research NIH to make announcement on fetal tissue research policy amid Trump-era restrictions To encourage innovation, Congress should pass two bills protecting important R&D tax provision MORE (D-Wash.), FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly and others. Details and how to RSVP: https://bit.ly/3dLgfeB

Thursday, May 21: The Hill hosts Advancing the American Economy, a national virtual summit to discuss a responsible reopening of the US economy. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin joins Editor-in-Chief Bob Cusack for a headline interview followed by an afternoon of discussions with leading CEOs and national health experts. Additional speakers to be announced. Details and how to RSVPhttps://bit.ly/2X61LiS 

Thursday: President Trump travels to Michigan to tour a Ford plant that is currently producing ventilators. Detailshttps://bit.ly/2X66zVf

WHAT TO WATCH:

11 a.m. EDT: Attorney General William BarrBill BarrGroups see new openings for digging up dirt on Trump Amy Coney Barrett receives million advance for book deal: report Garland rescinds Trump-era memo curtailing consent decrees MORE and FBI Director Christopher Wray held a news conference. Livestreamhttps://cs.pn/2Za91wK 

11:30 a.m. EDT: New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoNew York AG asked to investigate if Cuomo used state resources on his book On The Money: Treasury creates hub to fight climate change | Manchin throws support behind union-backed PRO Act | Consumer bureau rolls out rule to bolster CDC eviction ban Cuomo: Congress must include SALT cap repeal in future legislation MORE (D) gave an update on his state’s coronavirus efforts. Livestreamhttps://bit.ly/3g0yGxN

2 p.m. EDT: President Trump participates in a roundtable with restaurant executives and industry leaders. Livestreamhttps://bit.ly/2X0qODG

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...:

Today is National Cheese Souffle Day.

Keep the zoo-animals-taking-field-trips content coming. It will never get old:

Penguins at the Kansas City Zoo took a field trip to the local art museum. Photos and video — this is quality contenthttps://bit.ly/3fXyNKt

I am cackling at this photo:

A café in German is handling out pool noodle hats to keep customers socially distant. Photo of the hatshttps://cnn.it/2ZezUPX

And because you made it this far, here’s a tired dog who needs a break from her puppies: https://bit.ly/2ZgXgVs