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 Terner MnuchinHillicon Valley: Twitter flags Trump tweet for 'glorifying violence' | Cruz calls for criminal investigation into Twitter over alleged sanctions violations | Senators urge FTC to investigate TikTok child privacy issues On The Money: Senate Dems pump brakes on new stimulus checks | Trump officials sued over tax refunds | Fed to soon open small-business lending program Schumer slams Trump's Rose Garden briefing on China as 'pathetic' 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



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.

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 trial


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.”


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.”

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. 

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  — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel  and  Facebook.

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The Hill's Editor-in-Chief Bob CusackRobert (Bob) CusackThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Mnuchin: More COVID-19 congressional action ahead On The Money: Mnuchin sees 'strong likelihood' of needing another COVID-19 relief bill | 2.4 million more Americans file new jobless claims | Top bank regulator abruptly announces resignation Overnight Health Care: Trump says US won't close over second COVID-19 wave | Mnuchin sees 'strong likelihood' of needing another COVID-19 relief bill | Why the US has the most reported coronavirus cases in the world MORE is interviewing Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin this Thursday on efforts to reopen the U.S. economy.

Details and how to RSVP for “A National Virtual Summit on Advancing the American Economy”


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

Deaths in the U.S.: 89,636

Breakdown of the numbers


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 Insider






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

By the way, this is 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’s pinned tweet right now.



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 PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoSchumer slams Trump's Rose Garden briefing on China as 'pathetic' Britain mulls pathway to citizenship for more than 3M inhabitants of Hong Kong Overnight Defense: Democrats expand probe into State IG's firing | House schedules late June votes with defense bill on deck | New Navy secretary sworn in 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.”


Via The New York Times’s Edward Wong


Feeling productive before Memorial Day:

Via The Hill’s Jordain Carney, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSchumer to GOP: Cancel 'conspiracy hearings' on origins of Russia probe Overnight Health Care: Trump says US 'terminating' relationship with WHO | Cuomo: NYC on track to start reopening week of June 8 | COVID-19 workplace complaints surge 10 things to know today about coronavirus MORE (R-Ky.) is using this week to churn out votes on President Trump’s nominees before Memorial Day Weekend. 

“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 JohnsonSchumer to GOP: Cancel 'conspiracy hearings' on origins of Russia probe Comey, Rice, Clapper among GOP senator's targets for subpoenas amid Obama-era probe Schumer: GOP should 'stop sitting on their hands' on coronavirus bill 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 each


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 so


Ahhh, the good old days:



Watch — this still makes me laugh out loud

This is a lot:





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 TrumpMelania Trump: 'No reason for violence' in George Floyd protests CNN coronavirus town hall to feature science author David Quammen, 'Empire' actress Taraji Henson The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump teases social media executive order as a 'big day' for 'fairness' 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 today

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 DelBeneHouse Democrats press Treasury on debit cards used for coronavirus relief payments Hillicon Valley: Trump threatens Michigan, Nevada over mail-in voting | Officials call for broadband expansion during pandemic | Democrats call for investigation into Uber-Grubhub deal The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga says supporting small business single most important thing we should do now; Teva's Brendan O'Grady says U.S. should stockpile strategic reserve in drugs like Strategic Oil Reserve MORE (D-Wash.), FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly and others. Details and how to RSVP:

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 RSVP 

Thursday: President Trump travels to Michigan to tour a Ford plant that is currently producing ventilators. Details


11 a.m. EDT: Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrValerie Jarrett to DOJ on George Floyd: 'We expect action, we expect justice' Hillicon Valley: Twitter flags Trump tweet for 'glorifying violence' | Cruz calls for criminal investigation into Twitter over alleged sanctions violations | Senators urge FTC to investigate TikTok child privacy issues Flynn urged Russian diplomat to have 'reciprocal' response to Obama sanctions, new transcripts show MORE and FBI Director Christopher Wray held a news conference. Livestream 

11:30 a.m. EDT: New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoOvernight Health Care: Trump says US 'terminating' relationship with WHO | Cuomo: NYC on track to start reopening week of June 8 | COVID-19 workplace complaints surge 10 things to know today about coronavirus Cuomo: New York City on track to start reopening week of June 8 MORE (D) gave an update on his state’s coronavirus efforts. Livestream

2 p.m. EDT: President Trump participates in a roundtable with restaurant executives and industry leaders. Livestream


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 content

I am cackling at this photo:

A café in German is handling out pool noodle hats to keep customers socially distant. Photo of the hats

And because you made it this far, here’s a tired dog who needs a break from her puppies: